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http://www.propertyweek.com/news/aberdeen-sells-oxford-street-gem-for-%C2%A3124m/5084158.article

19/07/2016

Aberdeen sells Oxford Street gem for £124m

Aberdeen Asset Management has sold 355-361 Oxford Street – the largest property in its £3.2bn UK property fund - to Norges Bank Real Estate Management for £124m.

355 361 Oxford St

Boots is the anchor tennant for the scheme designed by Fletcher Priest Architects - Source: Chris Gascoigne/Artiflex/Fletcher Priest Architects

Aberdeen put the asset up for sale through CBRE for £145m, at a 3% yield, less than a fortnight ago, giving potential bidders tight timescales to make offers and complete.

Although £124m is below the asking price, it is still well above the £76m Aberdeen paid in 2011, which reflected a 4.27% yield. The main tenant of the 59,000 sq ft asset is Boots, which has a store at the front and offices behind.

Norges said the deal was signed and completed on Friday. The property is held on a long leasehold from the City of London Corporation with an unexpired term of 139 years .

Aberdeen was forced to suspend trading of its retail fund two weeks ago as redemption requests piled up, but on Wednesday last week it lifted the suspension.

It has moved quicker than others to recoup cash and provide liquidity. Other assets that the firm has put up for sale include 10 Hammersmith Grove and various industrial properties. These include a BT-let distribution centre at Magna Park as well as several multi-let industrial estates.

Clawing back cash from fund redemptions

Markets sources said the prices being offered for the industrial stock were closer to asking than for the other properties. The yield on the BT shed is thought to be 5.35% and the selling price higher than the £45.4m that Aberdeen paid in 2014.

Blackstone is thought to be leading the bidding for the industrial assets, while Brockton Capital has emerged as frontrunner for 10 Hammersmith Grove.

Other retail funds have also acted to claw back cash from the sales of trophy assets, but are not seeking to conclude deals as quickly as Aberdeen.

Henderson has put Coutts’ headquarters at 440 Strand on the market for £220m, as well as its Ryder Court office building in Mayfair.

Standard Life Investments is also expected to sell 48-54 Charlotte Street in the West End for £25m, while M&G is reviewing its position having received several approaches.



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