Kuok Family Acquires London Office Bldg For £145.5mil
UNITED KINGDOM – Malaysia’s Kuok family, which controls Hong Kong-listed property developer Kerry Properties, has purchased an 8-storey office block in the posh St James’ district of London’s West End for £145.5 million ($198.8 million), reported Mingtiandi on Tuesday morning (21 September, SGT).
An insider in the city’s real estate brokerage scene disclosed that Kuok family is the acquirer of the recently-renovated commercial property, while various published reports named Kerry Properties as the buyer. However, a spokesperson from the developer told Mingtiandi that they did not invest in the said asset.
On the other hand, the vendor of the 6-storey property, known as Cassini House, was London-listed BMO Commercial Property Trust.
Located a stone’s throw away from The Ritz London 5-star hotel, the commercial property contains 51,348 sq ft of office space. As such, the Kuok family paid approximately roughly £2,834 (US$3,874) psf for the prized assed
According to BMO Commercial Property Trust’s Lead Manager Richard Kirby, the divestment of the fully-occupied freehold office building via a competitive bidding process that attracted several high-quality proposals resulted in a net initial yield of 3.2 percent.
Moreover, the £145.5 million price tag translates to a 11 percent appreciation of Cassini House’s external valuation as of 30 June 2021 and 19 percent growth of its year-end valuation in 2020, noted the seller.
The commercial property is mainly leased by Artemis Investment Management and Shore Capital Stockbrokers, while Japanese developer Mitsui Fudosan started leasing office space on the level 6 in 2020.
Real estate consultancy Savills, which started marketing Cassini House earlier this year said the weighted unexpired term for the fully-occupied commercial property is 8.25 years at an average rent of £101 psf.
Furthermore, Cassini House represents the second investment in West End by the Kuok family. In October 2020, they acquired Queen’s House, a 13,609 sq ft freehold office building along 64-65 St James Street for £34.5 million.