Oxford Properties Group and Hamburg-based Union Investment Real Estate GmbH have created a 50:50 joint-venture regarding Watermark Place in London, with Oxford acting as asset manager to the JV. In parallel, the JV has refinanced the asset, raising a new 10-year £270 mln (approx. €374 mln) debt facility from Pricoa Mortgage Capital. Union Investment will hold its 50 % interest for its open-ended real estate fund UniImmo: Europa.
Watermark Place is a landmark 50,340 m² Grade A office building situated on the River Thames in the City of London and was Oxford’s first investment in the London market. Oxford initially acquired a 50% interest in the asset in 2007 as a development site, which was completed in 2009, and subsequently purchased the building outright in November 2010.
The building is currently 100% let to Nomura, the Japanese investment bank, on a long-term lease and is the home of its EMEA headquarters.
The transaction highlights the progression of Oxford’s European platform and is consistent with its global strategy to manage its risk profile, selectively realize profits and recycle capital into higher-returning development opportunities. The deal allows Oxford to capitalize upon the substantial current investor demand for well-leased prime assets in core Central London locations. Going forward, the JV partners believe that the asset will provide an attractive income-led total return and is well positioned to take advantage of the continued strong growth fundamentals in the City of London market.
The introduction of a new partner is in line with Oxford’s strategy to develop and grow partnerships with long-term strategic co-investors. By entering into a JV with Union Investment, Oxford is partnering with a like-minded investor with an aligned long-term investment horizon and deep real estate expertise. Union Investment is a global investment business across equity, fixed-income and money markets as well as alternative investments and quantitative structured funds. It has approximately £20 billion (approx. €28 billion) in real estate assets under management invested across 350 properties worldwide.
Source: Oxford Properties