Merrill Lynch sells

Soros Real Estate and Peter Kershaw have bought a portfolio of five buildings from Merrill Lynch Executive Office Partnership for a total of £52.3m. The five buildings were occupied by HQ, the UK’s second-largest serviced office provider after Regus.

Kershaw and Soros together bought out HQ’s UK business from its US parent after it emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last year.

The offices are at St James’s Square, Mayfair; Bishopsgate, London EC2; Fenchurch Avenue, EC3; Bristol Business Park and Edinburgh Park.

Bank of Scotland provided financing for the deal. Merrill Lynch has also provided funding for five years.

HQ has also signed a 13-year lease on its building at Stockley Park. The building is owned by Merrill Lynch Property Fund.

Commenting on the deal, Kershaw said: “I am very uncomfortable with this all-lease model. The acquisition of this largely freehold portfolio is in line with our strategy to operate a mixture of owned, managed and leased properties.”

HQ currently operates 20 centres in the UK and plans to increase this number to 30 within three years.
Source: Freeman News/Property Week

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