Evans Randall and Al Salam Bank buy prime city office investment for £127 mln (UK)

Evans Randall, the privately held UK investment banking and private equity group, and Al Salam Bank Bahrain, a leading Islamic financial institution, have exchanged contracts with vendor UBS Global Asset Management (UK) for the purchase of Milton Gate, 1 Moor Lane, London EC2, a 200,000 plus-ft² office investment in the City of London for £127 million. Al Salam Bank's participation in the transaction was structured to be in compliance with Shariah principles. Evans Randall provided the equity for the acquisition.

Milton Gate is let to leading City law firm Addleshaw Goddard on a lease with 15 years remaining. The acquisition reflects an initial yield of 7.5%. Milton Gate was recently refurbished by UBS in conjunction with Exemplar Properties LLP to create a high-quality, contemporary City headquarters building. It totals seven stories and has floor plates of 26,500 ft².

The property lies within the financial district of the City of London, approximately 300 meters from Broadgate and 700 meters north of the Bank of England. The area has traditionally attracted a range of financial occupiers including JP Morgan Chase and UBS, and professional occupiers such as Slaughter & May and Linklaters.

Michael Evans, Chairman & Chief Executive of Evans Randall, said: "Milton Gate is a well-let, high-quality asset in a prime City of London location which we are acquiring at a time when the UK market offers selective opportunities for long-term investors with access to equity. With attractive yields and interest rates in the UK at an historic low there are significant benefits to in acquiring this type of asset. We are actively seeking similar opportunities in partnership with Al Salam Bank."

Yousif Taqi, Board Member & Chief Executive of Al Salam Bank, said: "Al Salam Bank is pleased to have worked with Evans Randall on this transaction. It represents the bank's first investment transaction in the United Kingdom and will enable our clients to benefit from a high yielding product which also capitalizes on the favorable market conditions in the City of London real estate sector."

Mohammed Paracha, Chief Executive of Al Salam Europe, said: "The closing of this transaction demonstrates our desire to provide valued clients with differentiated investment opportunities that are structured to take advantage of a low interest rate, undervalued assets. Al Salam Bank's contribution in the transaction was structured in a Shariah compliant tranche providing high yield returns for its investors. Al Salam Europe looks forward to sourcing more transactions with strong partners such as Evans Randall."

Following completion of this transaction Evans Randall and Al Salam Bank Bahrain are delighted to announce their intention to make further real estate acquisitions in partnership with one another.

Evans Randall was advised by its retained agent CB Richard Ellis.

In the last four years Evans Randall has become a leading investor in landmark real estate assets in both the UK and Western Europe, having acquired a portfolio of more than £5 billion. Its track record in completing transactions quickly and effectively and its strong banking and equity investor relationships are fundamental to its ability to exploit opportunities offered in the current market.

Source: FD

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