Chinese developer R&F Properties buys Vauxhall Square for £157.77m

Chinese developer R&F Properties has exchanged contracts to buy Vauxhall Square, a planned 1.5m sq ft mixed-use scheme in Nine Elms, from CLS Holdings for £157.77m.

The price paid represents a 45% premium to the book value of £100m as of December last year.

The developer will take control of the 3.4-acre site and plans to invest £1bn in delivering the scheme, which will feature 245,000 sq ft of offices, 578 apartments, 33,500 sq ft of retail, one hotel, a 50-bedroom hostel for the homeless and 40,655 sq ft of leisure space.

The acquisition marks R&F’s second deal in London in recent weeks. Last month, it purchased the iconic Nestle Tower and surrounding development sites in Croydon from Minerva for just under £60m, marking its first buy in Europe.

Mr. Xia Ning, on behalf of R&F Properties, said: “We are very keen to start working with the local stakeholders and the community to create a truly mixed use development which will provide a welcoming environment to both live and work, centred around a new public square.

“The generous retail and leisure offering will supplement the hotel and office space and will bring a significant number of jobs to Vauxhall and enhance the local economy.”

CLS’ share price jumped 7.9% on the back of the news. Henry Klotz, executive chairman of CLS, called the deal a “milestone in the history of CLS”.

“Having bought the site nearly 30 years ago and secured planning in 2013, we are pleased now to have exchanged contracts at a price above its year end valuation. We intend to reinvest the proceeds in our core business: high yielding offices with good asset management opportunities within key European cities”.

JLL advised CLS, CBRE acted for R&F Properties. Urbanest own a 454-room student block also contained within the scheme.

Tom Moore, director at CBRE, said R&F Properties planned to “acquire further high quality sites in the near future”.

“This is the second acquisition R&F have made into the London development market in as many months, highlighting their confidence in London’s growing residential market.”

JLL director James Thomas added: “The interest generated by our international marketing campaign shows the continued confidence in Vauxhall, Nine Elms, and Battersea as key growth areas, where both UK and overseas parties are competing to invest capital.”

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