Permodalan in S$1b London buy

Malaysia’s state-backed fund, Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB), has acquired two landmark London offices for around £500 million (S$1 billion) in the latest example of continued overseas interest in the UK capital.

PNB bought One Exchange Square in the City, the famously lavish home of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development; and 90 High Holborn, the headquarters of law firm Olswang. The buildings were sold by German fund manager KanAm, according to a statement on Wednesday.

KanAm, which is liquidating its Grundinvest fund, also owns Thomson Reuters’ base at Canary Wharf and Deutsche Bank’s UK headquarters. However, it is understood these assets are no longer for sale.

PNB, the largest state-owned asset manager in Malaysia, already owns One Silk Street in London, which houses the offices occupied by law firm Linklaters.

Mr Andrew Sim, head of European investment at property consultancy Knight Frank, which advised KanAm on the sale, said: “The harnessing of fresh international capital is crucial for the health of the European investment market and fundamental to the success of selling assets of such importance.

“London remains the primary target for the majority of new sovereign wealth and state pension fund equity, and in this regard PNB is certainly one of the most important new entrants.”

Source : Today – 9 Mar 2012

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