Singapore’s Ho Bee Land Buys London Office Bldg For £718mil
UNITED KINGDOM – Singapore-based real estate firm Ho Bee Land announced that it had signed a deal to purchase a landmark office tower at 52 Lime Street in London from US insurance group WR Berkley for £718 million (S$1.3 billion), according to a press release published on Thursday morning (24 February, SGT).
Dubbed as The Scalpel, the commercial property has a height of 206.5m and is constructed on a freehold site spanning 0.31ha. It neighbours the famed Lloyd’s building and was completed in 2019.
The development consists of 36 levels of Grade A office space collectively measuring 406,000 sq ft. It also contains three retail units at the ground and basement levels. It offers flexible and efficient floor plates measuring between 6,600 sq ft to 15,800 sq ft.
The commercial spaces are predominantly multi-let to tenants from the tech, legal, financial, and insurance industries. The long tenancies of the leases offer secure 10-year passing rent of £29 million, which works out to an attractive yield of 4 percent.
“London has proved to be very resilient in spite of Brexit and the pandemic. It has been able to maintain its position as a key global financial hub with a robust office investment market. We are very excited to be able to seize this rare opportunity to acquire a landmark office tower which ticks all the boxes for quality, distinction and sustainability. We remain confident of London’s long-term economic prospects and attractiveness to global investors,” commented Ho Bee Land’s Chief Executive Nicholas Chua.
“With this acquisition, our total investment in London would increase to more than £2 billion. The Scalpel’s 10-year secure long-term income would further strengthen the group’s recurrent income base,” he added.
Ho Bee intends to hold the office building, which was designed by famous American architectural firm Kohn Pederson Fox Associates, as a long-term investment. The acquisition will be financed via a mix of internal funds and bank borrowings.