HK buyer swoops for £285m City office

A private Hong Kong investor has acquired 70 Gracechurch Street in the City of London for £285m.

The price paid, which reflects a net initial yield of 4.2%, is well ahead of the £272m asking price set by vendor Legal & General.

The deal for the 215,000 sq ft building, which is home to Marks & Spencer’s flagship 90,000 sq ft City store, marks the debut UK investment by the private buyer and continues a run of acquisitions this year by Hong Kong investors.

The property, which is also let to insurer XL Group, was put on the market through Knight Frank in May.

Hong Kong buyers have been heavily active in the City office market. Just last month LKK Health Products Group acquired the Walkie-Talkie in a £1.3bn deal.

M&S’s lease represents 30% of the income from the building and has 10 year to run. XL Group’s lease on the six office floors expires in 2028.

The asset, which was held in L&G’s annuity fund, is located within the City’s skyscraper cluster and presents the new owner a development opportunity with a scheme of up to 600,000 sq ft thought to be feasible.

L&G bought the building in 2013 from Moritz Group for £202m.

Savills advised the Hong Kong buyer. All parties declined to comment.

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