AustralianSuper snaps up 20% of King's Cross for £200m

Australia’s largest pension fund AustralianSuper has agreed a deal to buy a 20% stake in King’s Cross Central for £200m, Property Week can reveal.

Argent, DHL and London and Continental Railways appointed Rothschild and GM Real Estate to sell the stake at the end of last year, and it is believed the deal was agreed in the past few days.

AustralianSuper beat off competition for the landmark development from a number of keen buyers, including overseas sovereign wealth funds from the Middle East, investment groups in the Far East, and domestic pension funds seeking a holding in the fast-developing area.

The Australian powerhouse made its first foray into the UK property market in December 2013, when it joined forces with the BT Pension Fund to buy a 50% stake in the 1.3m sq ft shopping mall thecentre:mk in Milton Keynes for £270m.

It was also an early bidder for shopping mecca Bluewater in Dartford, but lost out to Land Securities last summer.

The King’s Cross deal represents the group’s first mixed-use investment in the UK, and is expected to be completed next week.

AustralianSuper is an Australian superannuation pension fund. It has more than two million members and over A$75bn (£37.82bn) under management.

At 67 acres, King’s Cross Central is the largest mixed-use development in single ownership to be masterplanned and developed in central London for over 150 years

Argent has been developing the site since 2001, when it was appointed development partner, and it will create 2,000 new homes, 3.4m sq ft of office space across 50 new buildings, 10 new public squares and 26 acres of open space.

The 8m sq ft scheme will include Google’s new £1bn European head office. Design services group Hoare Lea will become the first commercial occupier to move into the scheme when it takes 22,000 sq ft at the Western Transit Shed.

Waitrose is set to become one of the anchor retail tenants when it opens a supermarket in one of King’s Cross’ most iconic buildings, the Midlands Goods Shed.

Argent refused to comment. All other parties were unavailable.

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