HK's Kingboard Holdings

HK’s Kingboard Holdings Acquire 2 London Wall Place Office Bldg For £293.6mil

UNITED KINGDOM – Kingboard Holdings, a laminates manufacturer and real estate investor based in Hong Kong, has agreed to purchase 2 London Wall Place, a commercial property primarily consisting of office space in central London, reported Mingtiandi on Thursday (23 June, SGT).

The 16-storey mixed-use project comprise 1,500 sq ft of retail premises and 187,200 sq ft of Grade A office space. The office component is 96 percent occupied, while the retail portion is fully leased.

Kingboard is buying 2 London Wall Place from Canadian investment behemoth Brookfield for £293.6 million (US$360 million), which works out to £1,556 (US$1,901) psf based on the commercial property’s 188,700 sq ft of leasable area. The selling price translates to a yield of 4.4 percent as the asset generates an annual gross rental income of £12.9 million.

Completed in 2018, the property is just a stroll away from the Moorgate Railway Station and Moor Place, an 11-storey commercial development bought by Kingboard from Brookfield in 2016.

Brookfield revealed that the London Wall Place project features 35,000 sq ft of landscaped roof terraces, 114 cycle parking spaces, and there five railway stations within a five-minute walk. Moreover, the asset is rated Excellent under the BREEAM sustainability standard.

“Taking into account the location, quality and occupancy rate of the property, the board considers that the acquisition is in line with the business strategies of the group and is in the interests of the company and its shareholders as a whole,” stated Kingboard.

London Wall Place’s Phase I, 1 London Wall Place, was finished in 2017. It was divested by Brookfield to AGC Equity Partners for £480 million in 2020. The 310,000 sq ft commercial property functions as the headquarters for Schroders, an investment management firm. Notably, Brookfield bought out fellow Canadian investor Oxford Properties’ half-stake in the development in 2019.

Kingboard’s last property acquisition in London was the almost £400 million (US$533 million) purchase of KPMG’s Canary Wharf headquarters via a sale-leaseback transaction announced in December 2017. Over a year before, the Hong Kong group picked up Moor Place, WeWork’s European headquarters, for £271 million (US$331 million).

The office acquisition comes as Asian investors, particularly those from Singapore, have been snapping up commercial properties in London this year as British asset values fell post-Brexit.

In February 2022, Singapore-based Ho Bee Land announce that it intends to acquire the Scalpel office skyscraper in the City of London for £718 million (US$972 million) from American insurer W.R. Berkley.
In April, Singapore’s GIC announced plans to buy a portfolio of commercial developments in Paddington area from British Land for £694 million (US$883 million). A month before, Sinar Mas Land purchased 32-50 Strand in the Charing Cross area from Landsec for £195 million (US$238 million), complementing the Singapore-listed company’s Alphabeta Building close to the City of London.

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