UBS strikes again in Farringdon with Fetter Lane deal

Swiss banking giant UBS has acquired 12-14 New Fetter Lane, a prime office leasehold in London's Farringdon neighbourhood, for £135 mln (€155 mln). 

The asset was sold by Nuveen Real Estate's Cityhold office partnership (CHOP). The leasehold has around 142 years remaining. The freeholder is City Corporation.

The 15-storey office comprises ground floor retail accommodation with 12 upper floors of Grade A offices. The asset has some 142,500 ft2 (13,200 m2) of lettable space.

Nuveen acquired the property in 2014 from Great Portland Estates (GPE) for £165.8 mln reflecting a yield of 4.5%. GPE developed the asset, which was completed in 2015. At time of acquisition, the office was pre-leased for 20 years to law firm Bird & Bird, which is still the main tenant.

In February 2020, Nuveen recapitalised the TIAA General Account’s (TIAA) interest in CHOP, as TIAA sold down half of its initial 50% interest in the venture to CBRE GIP, representing a value of €625 mln at the time.

Nuveen Real Estate remained as portfolio and asset manager for CHOP, which continues to hold assets including 70 St Mary Axe in the City of London, 36 rue La Fayette in Paris, Burstah Offices in Hamburg and EDGE Olympic in Amsterdam.

UBS inked another office deal in Farringdon in Q3 of this year, acquiring Bloom Clerkenwell, home to social media giant Snapchat, for around £217 mln on behalf of a private Swiss client. The seller was HB Reavis.

According to JLL, there is currently some £1.5 bn of space under offer in Central London, with £1.15 bn of this in the West End and £348.5 mln in the City. However, deal volumes for Central London offices are at profoundly low levels, with Q3 volumes falling some 64% year-on-year.

Farebrother (with Knight Frank) advised GPE on the sale of 12-14 New Fetter Lane.



image © Hilson Moran


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