F&C REIT transactions total circa £1 billion since creation of the group (UK)

F&C REIT, the international real-estate manager created in September 2008 through the merger of REIT Asset Management and F&C's property division, has recently exchanged contracts with the National Farmers Union (NFU) to acquire three out of town office complexes. This latest deal will bring the total value in transactions since the formation of F&C REIT to circa £1 billion as the company exchanged on circa £170 million in December split 85% purchases and 15% sales.

The latest acquisitions are for a total purchase price of £24.5 million (€ 27.4 million) representing an initial yield in excess of 10%. The three office facilities are in Luton, Slough and Gerrards Cross; in Luton – 52,000 sq ft (4,831 m²) office space situated in the 50 acre Capability Green Business Park that is currently let to a corporate services group at a rent of £972,000 pa with lease expiring January 2020. In Slough – 37,000 sq ft (3,437 m²) office let to Timberland Europe Services Ltd (European headquarters) at a rent of £916,680 pa with lease expiring 2019, and in Gerrards Cross – 26,000 sq ft (2,415 m²) office situated in Chalfont Park let to Sensormatic Ltd at a rent of £721,392 pa.

Last year F&C REIT completed one of the largest property deals of 2009 when it acquired the Dawnay Day portfolio which consisted of 211 properties for £635 million in March (09). Since that time, the company has been particularly active in the industrial sector with recent high profile acquisitions including Midpoint 18 Middlewich (£16.55 million), Hams Hall Distribution Centre (£34 million), and Dirft Exel Unit Daventry (£17.25 million), the last two purchased by F&C Commercial Property Trust Limited, a publicly listed closed end vehicle.

Leo Noé, Executive Chairman of F&C REIT, said of the latest acquisition: "We're very happy to have exchanged contracts for these three office units and it is pleasing to have finished 2009 with an acquisition of this size – particularly as we began the year with one of the largest property deals in the UK and our activity across all sectors during our first full-year has been very encouraging.

"To total £1 billion in investment transactions at this stage of F&C REIT's operation, within 18 months since its creation, is a fantastic achievement and one that we are all very proud of. It is a testament to the complementary skills, strengths and ambition that the merger created. Needless to say we are looking forward to building on this during 2010 when we will continue to consolidate our current assets as well as look at other opportunities."

Source: F&C REIT Asset Management

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