Great Portland Estates plc (GPE) has agreed to sell the freehold of London’s 50 Finsbury Square to a wholly owned subsidiary of Wirtgen Invest Holding, a private German family office.
The headline price of £190.0 mln (€218 mln) reflects a topped up net initial yield of 3.85% and and is broadly in line with the March 2022 book value after adjusting for estimated capex to complete.
GPE will retain responsibility for delivering the development with completion of the sale expected in Q1 2023 following practical completion and commencement of the leases of the office and retail space. Net proceeds will be initially used to pay down the Group’s revolving credit facility and will reduce the company’s loan to value from 22.2% to 16.8% based on a pro-forma June 2022 balance sheet.
Originally a Fosters & Partners designed building, 50 Finsbury Square is undergoing a comprehensive refurbishment with practical completion scheduled for Q4 2022. When complete, the building will be BREEAM ‘Excellent’ and GPE’s first Net Zero Carbon development.
It will provide 121,800 sq ft (11,300 m2) of offices arranged over lower ground, ground and seven upper floors together with a terrace on the 6th floor and a further pavilion and extensive roof terrace on the 8th floor overlooking Finsbury Square. The retail element of the property consists of four units fronting Finsbury Pavement (7,400 sq ft).
The entirety of the office space has been pre-let to telecommunications company Inmarsat Global Limited and two of the retail units have been pre-let and the other remaining two units are under offer. Once fully let, the rent on completion will be £9.0 mln per annum (subject to final area measurement on practical completion).
‘In 50 Finsbury Square, we have created an exceptional home for Inmarsat, not least given the sustainability credentials our refurbishment will deliver. The sale is consistent with our strategy of recycling capital out of mature assets to be utilised in our many other development opportunities,’ said CEO Toby Courtauld.
C&W advised the buyer.