Nan Fung nears £75m Cheapside House deal
Hong Kong developer Nan Fung is on the verge of acquiring a City office building for around £75m in an off-market deal.
Nan Fung, which is one of the largest residential developers in Hong Kong and is run by Vivien Chen, has swooped on Cheapside House, which overlooks St Paul’s Cathedral.
Owner Hermes Investment Management and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) first sought to sell the building for around £70m at the end of 2014.
The parties are close to finalising a deal for the 77,000 sq ft building at 134-147 Cheapside that will represent a yield of around 5%.
Nan Fung’s move is another sign of the continued strong interest in City offices from Asian investors.
Chen, who also wholly owns Crosby Investment Holdings, has been highly acquisitive in the City office market since 2014. Only last month Crosby - with a consortium of private Hong Kong families - put 80 Cheapside under offer for just over £90m.
The developer was also behind the purchase of 10 Fleet Place, in London’s Midtown, for £175m in August last year and the £153.5m acquisition of 50 Bank Street in Canary Wharf in 2014. Nan Fung also owns 16 Old Bailey, the City headquarters of law firm Withers, after buying the Isle of Man unit trust that owned it for £77m in March last year.
Cheapside House is 100% let off average rents of around £45/sq ft and offers significant potential for asset management as rents in the area top £60/sq ft.
It is multi-let to tenants including Barnett Waddingham, Japan Petroleum Exploration, Xodus Group and GFT.
Hermes and CPPIB formed a 50-50 joint venture partnership in 2013 that was seeded with an existing BT-owned eight-asset portfolio, including Cheapside House. They put the building up for sale a year later but pulled it from the market after the proposed buyer failed to close the deal.
The JV has since acquired South Bank Tower for £150m, with plans to transform the building into 269,000 sq ft of office and retail space, and Haymarket House in the West End for £156m. It has also sold 100 New Oxford Street and 69 Carter Lane for a combined £150m.