International law firm CMS has acted for AXA Investment Managers - Real Assets (“AXA IM - Real Assets”), the leading real estate portfolio and asset manager in Europe, on its agreement, on behalf of clients, to sell Ropemaker Place, a prime office building in the City of London, to a subsidiary of Singaporean-listed company Ho Bee Land, for £650 million.
AXA IM - Real Assets bought Ropemaker Place in 2013 on behalf of a joint venture comprising one European and two Asian investors. The office building at 25 Ropemaker Street, EC2, was developed in 2009 and offers 571,000 sq ft of Grade A office accommodation as well as ground floor retail and ancillary space. The 21 storey, 602,000 sq ft building is 96% let to a strong line-up of investment grade tenants, providing a weighted average lease term of 10.5 years to expiry. The asset has a BREEAM Excellent sustainability rating and was the first building in the City of London to achieve a LEED Platinum pre-certification for sustainability.
The CMS team was led by London partners Simon Staite (Real Estate) and Amanda Howard (Funds and Indirect Real Assets) and comprised Neil Dryer and Barry Morris (Real Estate), Will Lawrence and Oliver Temple (Funds and Indirect Real Assets), Nick Burt and Lauren Alder on Tax, Alistair McGrigor and Joe Bennett (Construction).
Commenting on the transaction, Simon Staite said:
“This agreement to sell Ropemaker Place shows the market for prime London real estate is still flourishing despite the economic uncertainty of Brexit. The office tower benefits hugely from its unusually large freehold footprint for the city and from being close to Moorgate station with the soon-to-be-opened Elizabeth line connections. We are pleased to have helped AXA IM - Real Assets to meet its strategic business goals in agreeing this sale”.