GI Partners, a leading private investment firm, in partnership with Rowan Asset Management, is pleased to announce the £82.7-million (approx. 97.8-million) freehold acquisition of Aldwych House, a 163,000-ft² (approx. 15,000-m²) office building located in the heart of London's Midtown office district.
Aldwych House, built in 1926 and last renovated in 1988, is currently 89% let to 11 tenants over 10 floors. Existing tenants include Associated British Ports, the London School of Economics and Manches, the solicitors.
Rowan will act as asset manager and will oversee a major refurbishment of the building, repositioning Aldwych House in the marketplace. This undertaking will create a rebranded offering, with an iconic modern entrance and common areas, materially improving the environment for occupiers.
Brad Altberger, Managing Director of GI Partners, commented: "Aldwych House is an excellent opportunity for us to invest in a high quality asset in the central London office market.
"Purchasing Aldwych House at just over £500 per ft², we think the downside is well protected. In addition, we believe there is potential for significant upside as the building is let at below market rents.
"GI Partners is also actively seeking similar acquisition targets which require intensive asset management and we have a significant amount of dry powder in our US $1.9 billion Fund III to execute this strategy."
Nick Jacobs, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Rowan Asset Management said: "Aldwych House is a classic 'Rowan asset' which will provide our capital partners with both income and opportunity.
"We are thrilled to have bought a product which will benefit from an occupier-sensitive but extensive re-branding and refurbishment. The building is located in a key area of the London market in which we have great confidence.
"We think Midtown is going to see strong rental growth and is becoming a primary occupier destination. At the micro level there are considerable initiatives in the subsectors of Aldwych and The Strand which should further enhance this location."
Nationwide is providing a combination of acquisition and refurbishment facilities.
Bryce Glover, Divisional Director for Nationwide Commercial said: "This transaction is a good example of how we continue to support experienced investors and our existing clients despite the tough economic climate. This transaction demonstrates the continuing value and robustness of the London office market, which is why we are happy to support GI Partners and Rowan in this acquisition. We look forward to working with them again in the future."
Peter Merrigan, CEO of Taurus, noted: "We are very pleased with the acquisition of Aldwych House and our joint venture with GI Partners and Rowan. Our first in