Istithmar sells One Trafalgar Square


Dubai World’s overseas investment branch, Istithmar, has sold Grand Buildings, the development at One Trafalgar Square, for a reported £172 million. The building is home to 200,000 square feet of retail and office space. London-headquartered company Enterprise Oil, which which was acquired by Royal Dutch Shell in 2002, currently rents the office space. The sale – one of the biggest deals in the West End – represents a yield of 5.25 percent.

The buyer is an unnamed Russian investor.  The development was built in 1870 and was acquired by Istithmar in 2005 for £155 million.

Dubai World is an investment company that manages a large portfolio of interests for the Dubai government. The company was badly hit by the financial crisis and reached an agreement in principal to restructure its debt in May this year. Istithmar – Arabic for ‘investment’ – has also performed poorly since its inception in 2003, and several executives have recently left the company.


Image: construction in Dubai, Flickr (Ryan Lackey)