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Asian Investor Pulls Out Of £300M Deal

Globe House, the London HQ of British American Tobacco

Asia’s biggest REIT has pulled out of a deal to buy a £300M West End office asset, but central London investment fared well in 2020 compared to its largest European rivals. 

Talks between Link REIT and British American Tobacco over the sale of the latter’s 172K SF London HQ have ended after the pair could not reach an agreement on price, React News reported.

BAT is selling and leasing back its office at Globe House, 4 Temple Place, in a sales process launched last summer. The company said it is still looking to sell the building. 

Link made its London debut in 2020, buying the Cabot office building in Canary Wharf for £380M. It had previously been in talks to recapitalise shopping centre REIT Intu but pulled out, and Intu subsequently went into administration. 

London investment had a better year than other large European capitals. Just over €20B (£18B) was invested in London real estate in 2020, according to Real Capital Analytics, a 24% drop on the previous year. That is the smallest decrease of any top 10 European city apart from Hamburg, where volumes increased by 6%. 

Paris saw the most investment, with €21B, but that figure represented a 37% drop on 2019. In spite of the better performance of the German economy in 2020, investment in Munich fell 54%, Frankfurt 39% and Berlin 36%. London offers relatively better pricing than European peers, RCA said.