Hammerson increases stake in Moorhouse office scheme (UK)

Hammerson plc has exchanged contracts to acquire, for an anticipated £52 million, Greycoat Estates Limited’s one-third interest in the Moor House Limited Partnership, which owns the major office development of Moorhouse in London EC2.

The acquisition will increase Hammerson’s interest in Moorhouse to 66.7%. The other one-third interest in the partnership is held by Henderson Global Investors on behalf of Pearl Assurance.

The purchase will be completed no later than 31 January 2005, upon which Hammerson will make a cash payment to Greycoat of £18 million and assume the latter’s third party debt obligations in relation to Moorhouse, which are estimated to be £34 million. Under the terms of the transaction, Greycoat may be entitled to further payments, capped at £3 million, based on the profitability of the completed development.

The acquisition will be financed from Hammerson’s existing financial resources. Hammerson’s estimated total development cost for the scheme, in respect of its 66.7% interest, is £121 million.

Designed by Foster and Partners, Moorhouse occupies a prominent site at the junction of London Wall and Moorgate in the City of London. The landmark office development is a 30,500 m² (328,300 ft²), 17 storey building, providing floors of between 1,250 m² and 1,905 m² (13,500 ft² and 20,500 ft²). Completion of the development is scheduled for November of this year. The partners have adopted a multi-letting strategy and marketing of the office accommodation will begin early in 2005.

John Richards, Chief Executive of Hammerson plc, said:

“We are pleased to have increased our interest in this major office development, which will be completed at a time when we expect to benefit from an improving occupational market. Moorhouse is an outstanding property with a high specification and which offers flexible accommodation in a first class location. The building will appeal to a wide variety of potential occupiers.”

Source: Hammerson

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