HPL invests in venture buying London properties for S$627 million

Hotel Properties Limited (HPL) has invested in a 30 per cent stake in a venture that is buying two prime properties in Southbank, central London, for £308 million (S$627 million), as the Singapore-listed hotel landlord and property developer expands its footprint in the British capital.

In a regulatory filing with the Singapore Exchange on Saturday, HPL said its indirect wholly-owned subsidiary, HPL (Southbank) had acquired the stake in Bankside Quarter Jersey (BQJ), which will, in turn, buy two holding companies that own the office buildings, Ludgate House and Sampson House.

“The investment will allow the HPL Group to expand its property portfolio in Southbank, central London … The Southbank has historically been recognised as one of central London’s leading cultural hubs, being home to the capital’s most famous institutions, including the Royal Festival Hall, Tate Modern and National Theatre,” HPL said.

“More recently, the area has undergone significant transformation, becoming one of central London’s fastest growing business and residential locations, providing a more vibrant and fashionable alternative to the traditional markets of the City and West End,” it added.

BQJ is buying the properties from United States private equity giant Carlyle Group with an initial £15.4 million, or 5 per cent, having been paid, and the balance of £292.6 million to be paid on the date of completion, expected in May. HPL’s share of the investment will be funded by a combination of loans and internal resources, it said.

Ludgate House, leased to United Business Media, is a ground plus nine-storey building that comprises 171,678 sq ft of net internal area (NIA) of office space. Sampson House, let to IBM, is a basement, ground plus six-storey building that consists of 354,602 sq ft of NIA of office space.

They are being acquired with an existing planning permission for development comprising around 552,000 sq ft NIA of private residential accommodation, 285,000 sq ft NIA of offices and 36,000 sq ft of retail and leisure space.

Source : Today – 30 Mar 2015

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