Singapore-based Sun Venture Planning To Acquire London Office Bldg For £150mil
UNITED KINGDOM – Sun Venture, an investment company headquartered in Singapore, has said to have offered roughly £150 million ($199.4 million) to purchase a freehold office building in Finsbury Square, City of London, according to a report from Mingtiandi last week.
Located in central London, 120 Moorgate, is owned by a WeWork-affiliated investment firm Ark, which presently leases the 156,000 sq ft commercial property to the coworking space operator.
Previously, Ark had appointed Knight Frank in Q3 2021 to market the office building at an indicative price of £147 million.
In May 2017, WeWork partnered with private equity firm Rhone Group to buy 120 Moorgate for £43 million (now US$57.14 million). The commercial property was then renovated in 2019 to meet the needs of the coworking space operator.
Sun Venture’s offer for the recently refurbished commercial property comes as the Singapore investment company acquired in December 2020 the 1 & 2 New Ludgate office building in the City of London from local developer Land Securities Group for £552 million (then US$742 million), making it the largest real estate deal in the capital last year.
Interestingly, 120 Moorgate is just 1.6km northeast from 1 & 2 New Ludgate. It is also just a stroll from 3 railway stations, namely Moorgate, London Liverpool Street, and Bank.
If the commercial property owner accepts the offer, Sun Venture’s current 500,000 sq ft of central London property will increase by over 31 percent. In Singapore, the investment company oversees about 800,000 sq ft of office space, including 71 Robinson Road, which it bought from Germany’s Commerzbank for S$655 million (now US$479 million) in 2019.
Based on a report by Knight Frank, demand for London office space in Q3 2021 hit 2.63 million sq ft. This translates to an increase of 54.9 percent compared to the amount of office space leased during the prior quarter, while vacancy fell to 7.7 percent. The real estate consultancy also revealed that office take up from investors is on the upswing as improved leasing restored market confidence.
“Investor appetite for prime London offices continues to be strong as the easing of restrictions and greater levels of international travel drove £3.85 billion of transactions across London.
“Rising levels of sentiment and low levels of availability for best-in-class space has led to a rise in prime rents in core submarkets where agreed rents are above the market average,” added Knight Frank’s report.