ING has won the race to buy more than £1.2 bln of properties from Abbey National in what is believed to be the biggest portfolio sale in the UK. Abbey considered more than 30 bids after appointing agents CB Richard Ellis to sell the properties of its closed with-profits subsidiaries, Scottish Mutual and Scottish Provident.
The high level of interest reflected the frenzy of institutions and entrepreneurs trying to put money in commercial property. However, the final price tag, understood to be £1.22bn, is lower than initial estimates that the portfolio could sell for £1.4bn or more.
ING and its partner, JPMorgan, are believed to have bought at an initial yield of 6.1%, higher than the average for UK commercial property.
ING is expected to sell off some of the properties, although most will end up in its funds. The portfolio consists of 128 buildings across the UK, ranging from retail warehouses, industrial units, regional offices, high street shops and distribution outlets, with an annual rent of £75m.
Source: Financial Times