Clearbell acquires Docklands office buildings with Morgan Stanley AIP (UK)

Clearbell Capital LLP, a leading private real estate fund management business and Morgan Stanley Alternative Investment Partners Real Estate (“Morgan Stanley AIP Real Estate”) have purchased the corporate entity holding 3, 4 and 5 Harbour Exchange in London, E14 from Land Securities Group Plc for £37.0 million (approx. €45.2 million)

Situated within the Harbour Exchange estate, the buildings consist of three self-contained multi-let modern offices totalling circa 190,000 ft² (approx. 17,651 m²) The well-specified office accommodation is located just south of Canary Wharf and adjacent to South Quay DLR station. The asset is circa 80% let with well-known tenants, including British American Tobacco and HSBC.

With the majority of tenants having lease events during the next three years, this provides Clearbell with an opportunity to reposition the buildings by way of initiatives such as improving common and external areas, upgrading the accommodation, engaging with tenants and re-lettings. We believe the impending arrival of Crossrail in 2017, and the continued regeneration of the Docklands, will drive tenant interest in Harbour Exchange.

Rob West, partner at Clearbell, commented: “We are delighted to acquire this asset off a sensible base price with scope to drive future value via refurbishment and leasing. Clearbell has deployed approaching £200 million (approx. €244.1 million) in three investments over the last few months. Given market conditions we expect our rate of capital deployment to accelerate throughout 2014”

Catherine Hong, Portfolio Manager of Morgan Stanley AIP Real Estate, said: “Our investment strategy is to align with and co-invest alongside what we believe to be best-in-class real estate fund managers around the world with a specialist expertise in their local markets. As an existing limited partner of Clearbell’s fund, we are very pleased to be partnering with them in this acquisition.”

Clearbell Property Partners II Fund, was launched in 2013 by the team behind Mountgrange. Last year saw investments with Pluto Finance for a platform providing finance for housing developments in London and the south east of England, and the acquisition of six office buildings from Greenhill’s for £60 million (approx. €73.23 million).

Gryphon Property Partners advised Clearbell and Morgan Stanley AIP and GM Real Estate advised Land Securities on the 3, 4 and 5 Harbour Exchange transaction.

Source: Clearbell

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