SWIP buys Rockspring’s Harlequin for £40 million (UK)

Rockspring Property Investment Managers LLP announces that it has sold The Harlequin Building, 65 Southwark Street, London SE1 on behalf of the Rockspring UK Value Fund to Scottish Widows Investment Partnership (SWIP) on behalf of the HIFML UK Property Fund in an off-market transaction for £40 million (approx. €47.6 million).

Acquired by RUKV in February 2010, Rockspring and its development partner, Moorevale, subsequently undertook a substantial refurbishment and extension of the Harlequin Building to create 50,000 ft² (approx. 4,645 m²) of grade A, BREEAM ‘Excellent’ office and retail space. Completed in Q4 2012, Harlequin is let to Zoopla, Maris Plc, World Trade and Travel Centre Ltd, Metropress Ltd t/a / ATG Media Ltd and Itsu, with only the first floor remaining vacant.

Richard Bains, Rockspring UK Value Fund Manager said: “Today’s announcement marks the successful conclusion of the regeneration, leasing and sale of the Harlequin Building. This project has generated exceptional returns for the Fund and endorses our confidence in developing into the Central London office market.”

Geoff Hepburn, Fund Manager in SWIP’s Real Estate team comments: “We are delighted to have secured the Harlequin Building from Rockspring. The Southbank occupational market is moving at a tremendous pace and we expect this asset to return excellent rental growth and performance for our investors as the location continues to mature. This deal was done off-market in only seven days, demonstrating SWIP’s exceptional capabilities to deliver in a very challenging and competitive marketplace.”

RUKV was launched in 2009 to take tactical advantage of the significant re-pricing in the UK property market. The closed-ended fund has built a portfolio of retail, office and student accommodation in diverse locations throughout the UK and following this disposal, will have assets valued in excess of £375 million. Following the success of RUKV, Rockspring is currently raising capital for its second UK Value Fund.

Rockspring was advised by JLL and SWIP was represented by H2SO and Forsters.

Source: FTI Consulting

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