29 January 2013

Canadian fund scoops up London office space

London commercial premises are continuing to attract international investment after Canada’s second largest pension fund joined forces with private equity firm TPG to buy a landmark office building for £265 million.

Ivanhoé Cambridge recently announced they have bought the Woolgate Exchange in Moorgate as it steps up its investment in the London office market, CityAM has reported. The purchase brings the total funds invested in the capital up to £400 million over the past year, adding the prominent city space to acquisitions made in Kensington and Belgravia.

The 350,000 square feet building will be let to Portigon (formally WestLB), with sub-tenants including Investec Asset Management, Sidley Austin and the University of Chicago. Ivanhoé will join the list of several overseas firms lured to the English capital for security amid the ongoing economic crisis.

Daniel Fournier, Ivanhoé chairman and chief executive, said: “This investment is perfectly in line with our strategic positioning in London.

“We are convinced that it will generate attractive returns for our depositors.”

Office acquisitions has been at feverpitch in London over the past few months, with developments in the ‘tech city’, King’s Cross, garnering the attention of international corporates. Google is one such company, recently announcing plans for a £1 billion headquarters in the hub.

ITV announced today (January 29th) that it has bought the freehold on its London headquarters for a sum of £56 million. The 22-storey tower on the South Bank is the broadcaster’s corporate headquarters as well as being home to shows such as Loose Women. Built in the early 1970s it was previously leased to ITV by Coal Pension Properties, who are on hand to receive £6.5 million extra if ITV redevelops the site.