London will become 'one of the main markets for investments' in the next few years, Italian insurance group Generali's property arm said after announcing a new major office deal in the city valued at £450 mln (€535 mln).
Generali Real Estate has completed the acquisition of the Times Square office building in the City of London's Queen Victoria Street from landlord Blackstone. The acquisition has been made on behalf of two pan-European funds managed by Generali Real Estate SGR, the "Generali Europe Income Holding” (GEIH) fund, dedicated to core offices, and "SC GF Pierre", a fund dedicated to unit-linked policies of the French insurance company Generali Vie.
It is being 50% financed with debt.
In a statement, Generali said that the deal 'is fully in line with Generali Real Estate’s strategy of investing in prime assets in the most important, dynamic and resilient cities in Europe, London included'.
'The acquisition of the Times Square building marks the come-back of Generali Real Estate on the London market. As part of our investments strategy in the most interesting and dynamic cities across continental Europe and beyond, we confirm our conviction about London as one of our main investment targets of our strategy,' said Aldo Mazzocco, head of Private Markets and Real Assets in the business unit Generali Asset & Wealth Management.
The asset represents the first direct investment for Generali Real Estate in the London real estate market after the completion of the iconic ‘One Fen Court’ building in Fenchurch Street in the City, a state-of-the-art development project completed in 2019.
Times Square is an office building comprising seven floors and two underground levels, with 35,000 m2 GLA, enriched by large terraces. It is currently under refurbishment, with completion expected at the end of 2022, and hosts the headquarters of BNY Mellon as the main tenant. The building is located in 160 Queen Victoria Street, close to St. Paul’s Cathedral and the London Stock Exchange. The asset boasts a pre-certification BREEAM Very Good and high Health and Well Being standards.
PropertyEU first announced in April that the asset was being marketed through agents CBRE and Knight Frank.
Blackstone bought the asset in March 2015 from UK REIT Land Securities for £268 mln.