GIC buys $1.2 billion stake in London Paddington office campus

The deal will create the second major London real estate venture between British Land and GIC. PHOTO: GIC

LONDON (BLOOMBERG) - GIC has exchanged contracts to buy a majority stake in an office campus in London's Paddington district from British Land for £694 million (S$1.2 billion), according to a statement on Monday (April 25).

The Singapore sovereign wealth fund will own a 75 per cent stake in Paddington Central - which houses companies such as Microsoft, Visa and Prudential - once the unconditional deal completes within the next three months. The deal values the properties at about 1 per cent below British Land's September book value.

London offices with long leases and strong green credentials have continued to lure global investors even as Covid-19 casts a shadow over the future of workspace. They are betting that demand will remain strong for the limited amount of modern space available despite the waning appeal of older and less environmentally friendly buildings.

"We are seeing returning demand in the take-up of new office spaces that are of high quality and in prime locations," said Ms Tracy Stroh, head of real estate in Europe for GIC.

The deal will create the second major London real estate venture between British Land and GIC, which jointly own the Broadgate campus in the City of London. British Land originally bought Paddington Central in 2013 for £470 million and has since developed the campus out further.

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