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Brookfield And Blackstone Push On With £2.5B London Deals

The Cabot

The world’s two largest property owners are pushing ahead with deals that would see them buy a combined £2.5B of London office assets, in a sign of confidence in the UK capital amid a market gripped by uncertainty. 

Deals are ongoing that will see Brookfield buy two large City offices that could be combined to create one large development site, and elsewhere buy out its joint venture partner on a £700M City office scheme. 

Blackstone is set to buy more than £1.2B of London office assets across two transactions near Waterloo and in Canary Wharf.

Brookfield is in talks to buy the two halves of the Plantation Place office scheme in the City for a combined £870M, according to React News. It would buy the 550K SF Plantation Place North from the trustees of the late Brazilian billionaire Moise Safra for £700M, and the 161K SF Plantation Place South for £170M from a private investor. 

According to React, the two buildings could be combined to create a single, much larger development site with the possibility of building a new office tower. 

Brookfield is also in talks to buy the 50% of London Wall Place that it does not already own from joint venture partner Oxford Properties for around £350M, which would take its London outlay to more than £1.2B. 

London Wall Place comprises two buildings: a 310K SF building fully let to Schroders, and a 190K SF multi-let building that is close to being fully let.

Blackstone is in talks to buy Southbank Place in Waterloo from developer Almacantar for around £875M, after a deal to sell the building to an Asian investor fell apart last year. 

It comprises two buildings totalling 572K SF. The 272K SF One Southbank Place is leased to Shell as an extension to its Shell Centre HQ. The 300K SF Two Southbank Place has 280K SF leased to WeWork for its largest office anywhere in the world.

Blackstone is also in talks to buy the Cabot building in Canary Wharf, being sold by Hines, for £380M, React said. 

If those deals complete, it equates to 20% of last year’s central London office investment volume, where Brexit and general election uncertainty led to just £12.6B of assets trading, compared to £18B in 2018, according to JLL