Bloomberg News

Great Portland, BP Pensions Purchase ITN’s London Headquarters

September 12, 2011

Sept. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Great Portland Estates Plc and BP Pension Fund agreed to buy the headquarters of Independent Television News in central London for 133 million pounds ($210 million).

The Great Ropemaker Partnership joint venture will acquire 200 and 214 Gray’s Inn Road from Beacon Capital Partners LLC, a Boston-based real-estate investment company, according to a statement today. The properties generate a combined annual rent of 8.9 million pounds.

Improved rail links to the area between the West End and the City of London financial district from the Crossrail project and the Thameslink railway upgrade will help lift rents and property values in coming years, said Ben Chambers, Great Portland’s investment director.

Separately, Great Portland agreed to buy a 2.3-acre (0.9 hectare) site near Oxford Street from Royal Mail Group Ltd. for 120 million pounds. The site is near the Tottenham Court Road subway station, which is being upgraded for the future Crossrail service linking Heathrow Airport to east London.

Royal Mail will lease back the site until June 2013, then vacate it to allow its redevelopment into a mix of shops, apartments and offices. The state-owned postal service company will receive a share of future profits from the development under the terms of the sale, according to a statement.

Great Portland specializes in developing and trading buildings in central London, where a shortage of new office space is driving up rents and adding to property values. Great Portland in July reported that its real estate appreciated by 3.8 percent the fiscal first quarter on demand from international investors.

--Editors: Ross Larsen, Jeff St.Onge.

To contact the reporter on this story: Simon Packard in London at packard@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Blackman at ablackman@bloomberg.net


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