La Française fund enters UK with €56m London office buy

La Francaise Real Estate Partners International (LF REPI) has exchanged contracts to acquire 90 Bartholomew Close in London’s Barts Square from UK property group Helical and US hedge fund Baupost.

The disposal price of £48.5 mln (€56 mln) reflects a net initial yield of 3.92%.

The recently completed six-storey building provides 24,013 sq ft (2,230 m2) of office space, as well as a 6,414 sq ft restaurant, all housed behind a Victorian façade. The five office tenants span a range of industries including law, software design and business consultancy. The total headline rent roll of £2 mln per annum reflects an average of £76.26 per sq ft on the office accommodation.
Peter Balfour, investment director, LF REPI: ‘90 Bartholomew Close marks the milestone of our first acquisition in the UK on behalf of La Francaise funds and signifies the intention to grow our assets under management in the UK real estate market. We are pleased to have purchased a key building in Helical’s Barts Square estate and anticipate good growth prospects associated with the completion of new developments nearby.  90 Bartholomew Close makes a good addition to our group’s portfolio of €23 billion in assets under management.’

Gerald Kaye, CEO, Helical, commented: ‘Despite operating in a constrained environment, the timing of this sale reflects my firm belief that the attraction of good quality London real estate for international capital will continue.’
The Helical/Baupost joint venture acquired the Barts site in 2011 and redeveloped the area in three phases.  Barts Square is a three-acre, mixed use development located between St Paul’s and Smithfield. Comprising 236 high quality apartments, 250,000 sq ft of contemporary office space over three buildings and 10 retail and restaurant units, Barts Square is the creation of a new urban quarter a short walk from the new Farringdon East Elizabeth Line (Crossrail) station, due to open in 2021.
Helical was advised by Ingleby Trice and Fineman Ross. JLL acted for La Francaise Real Estate Partners International.  


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