In one of the biggest commercial property deals that London has ever seen, Istithmar World Capital, a subsidiary of Dubai World, has sold a Grade A prime London office to an unnamed Russian buyer for £172m.
The building, named Grand Buildings, represents a landmark Victorian office building, constructed in the 1870s, situated in London’s busy West End and features a significant amount of retail and office space. Current occupiers are Enterprise Oil, a major British independent exploration and production company.
Istithmar had previously bought Grand Buildings from a division of Noriba Bank five years ago for approximately £155m, marking a £22m profit, an 11.6% return over the five years. The firm has also sold two properties in London in Q4 2009 for £10m with a share of future profits to Great Portland Estates.
Chief executive and fund manager at Gulfmena Alternative Investments, Haissam Arabi, said, “This is very good news, disposing assets is part of the restructuring of Dubai World and it will help them meet their debt obligations. During the credit crunch everyone in the markets was panicking so it was impossible for distressed companies to find buyers.”
He added, “There was no real demand, now that it is back companies in Dubai or any other city or country can sell assets again as a viable solution to generate cash.”
Jones Lang LaSalle acted as agents for Istithmar and Michael Elliot acted for the Russian buyer.