Gulf fund executes largest UK office deal outside London

UAE-based financial services company Gulf Islamic Investments (GII) has acquired an office building in Birmingham for £140 mln (€158 mln), in a deal described by vendor Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM) Real Assets as the UK's largest office transaction outside of London this year.

'Despite the challenging times and the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, GII is immensely delighted to expand its investment portfolio in the UK through another high-quality long-income yielding asset for its clients, endorsing our strong belief in the UK real estate market,' said Pankaj Gupta, co-founder & CEO UAE, GII.

Priory Court & The Lewis Building is a multi-let office property in Birmingham's CBD, which was acquired by LGIM for its second UK property income fund in 2014. The fund repositioned the asset with a refurbishment programme which included the creation of an additional floor comprising 12,462 ft2 (1,100 m2) of space.

Post-refurbishment lettings have included the Ministry of Justice, Spaces, Business Growth Fund and most recently Freightliner. The top rent achieved at the property was £32.00 per ft2, LGIM said.

'The sale of Priory Court & The Lewis Building marks the successful completion of the asset business plan and is testament to the skills and capabilities of our team of asset managers,' commented Will Edwards, senior fund manager, LGIM Real Assets.

Nick Woodward, head of CBRE's Birmingham investment team which advised LGIM, said: 'Despite the political uncertainty, this transaction illustrates the sustained appeal of the UK property market, with Birmingham a key target for investors due to the strength of its occupational market and significant growth potential over the next 5-10 years.'

GII was advised by Rasmala Investment Bank.

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