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Battersea's £1.6B Isn't A Record — These Are The Biggest Deals In U.K. History

Rendering of Battersea Power Station complex at full build-out

Last Thursday the Malaysian companies redeveloping Battersea Power Station announced a massive forward funding deal for the second stage of the huge project.

Two Malaysian pension funds, Employees Provident Fund and Permodalan Nasional Berhad, paid £1.6B for the power station building. The deal excludes around 4,000 new homes being built on the land around the power station.

The deal has been reported as being the largest single building sold in the U.K. But that is not right. How does Battersea rank against the U.K.’s largest-ever deals?

Rendering of Battersea Power Station at full build-out

The background to the sale itself

EPF and PNB are not new investors in Battersea — they already owned a 70% stake through ownership stakes in SP Setia and Some Darby, and EPF already owned a stake in the scheme.

The power station building they purchased will comprise 500K SF of offices, all of which have been prelet to Apple for a new U.K. HQ; 420K SF of retail and restaurants and a cinema, essentially a new high street and shopping centre; and a 105K SF events space that can hold 2,000 people. 

The building will also contain 253 luxury apartments, but 90% have already been sold, so this will not make up a big part of the purchase price.

The forward funding deal guarantees the redevelopment of the power station will go ahead in spite of cost increases and residential sales price falls. Completion is scheduled for 2020.

The Trafford Centre

What is the U.K.’s largest-ever single-building deal?

The highest price ever paid for a single building was the £1.65B that Intu dropped on the Trafford Centre in late 2011, the deal that prompted Simon Property Group to launch a hostile takeover of Intu. Intu paid using shares, giving Trafford Centre owner John Whittaker a 23% stake in the company.

UBS' Broadgate HQ

Largest portfolio deal

Here there is a tie: In 2013 as the London market recovered, Singaporean GIC paid £1.7B for a 50% stake in the Broadgate Estate, and Kuwaiti fund St. Martins paid the same price for More London, a collection of buildings that includes London’s City Hall.


Largest corporate deal

When Intu rebuffed Simon’s takeover bid, it said the company was worth 625p a share compared to the 425p a share Simon had offered. But its shares fell to close to 270p, leading to a £3.4B takeover offer from Hammerson last December. When the deal completes later this year it will be the largest deal of any sort in U.K. history.


The pound-for-pound champions

Battersea’s total price tag eclipsed the huge sales last year of the Walkie Talkie and the Cheesegrater, but on a square foot basis those two buildings still hold the U.K. record. Both sold for £1,885/SF, compared to £1,506/SF at Battersea.