Wainbridge acquires c160,000 sq ft West London office development scheme


Wainbridge Capital, a Jersey-based, property investment manager, has purchased the long leasehold interest in a strategically located West London office building, FC200, from an off-shore investor for GBP16m, reflecting a capital value of GBP95.50 per sq ft reports Property Funds World.

The acquisition has been made on behalf of Wainbridge’s London “value-add” office fund , Wainbridge Global Opportunities London Limited  (WGOL), which has raised a further GBP14.5m of equity since its first close in September 2010, bringing the fund up to a current total of GBP64.5m of equity which, once leverage is applied, provides GBP184m to invest.

FC200 is a 164,000 sq ft, part-completed office development situated adjacent to Diageo’s International Headquarters in First Central, forming phase two of the West London business park, situated off the A40 at the Hanger Lane roundabout.  Initially developed by a joint venture between Guinness Ltd and London & Regional, the shell of the office building was completed in 2007.  Wainbridge now intends to complete the internal fit-out of the building to provide 164,000 sq ft of new, Grade A office accommodation arranged over ground floor and six upper floors. The building also provides 174 car parking spaces which reflects an attractive parking ratio of one space to 942 sq ft.

It is envisaged that the fit-out of the building will be delivered during the summer of 2012 and will therefore be well placed to benefit from the predicted increase in demand for office space in the Western Corridor sub-market of London, where there is currently a limited supply of new Grade A office space. Wainbridge is already in discussions with potential tenants for the building.

The strategic location benefits from easy access to two London Underground Stations – Park Royal (Piccadilly Line) and Hanger Lane (Central Line) – and is also adjacent to the A40, A406 and close to the M1, M4 and M25 road networks.  The building is located on the First Central business park where the owner, Guinness Ltd, has planning consent for additional office and residential properties, as well as a 150-bedroom hotel.

This acquisition is in line with the Fund’s strategy to acquire “value-add” office and mixed-use properties, predominantly concentrated in Greater London, with a degree of capital expenditure or leasing risk that offer an attractive investment opportunity.  Since its first closing of GBP50m (equity), which was raised from a number of high net worth investors, the majority of whom are Russian nationals, the Fund has raised a further GBP14.5m, demonstrating continued appetite for these London-based, “value-add” opportunities.  All funds are fully discretionary and subsequent closings are expected to bring the fund up to GBP100m (equity), which, when leverage is applied, will give WGOL up to GBP285m to invest.

Rob Rackin, Principal and co-founder, Wainbridge Limited, says: “This acquisition represents an exciting opportunity for Wainbridge to gain exposure to the improving office market in London’s Western Corridor. As the property is not fully completed, we are able to leverage our development expertise to provide high quality, desirable office accommodation that meets tenants’ demands, while keeping occupational costs low, and striving to meet the highest sustainability standards.”

Edouard Fernandez, Principal and co-founder, Wainbridge Limited, adds: “This type of scheme is an excellent fit with the Fund’s strategy of seeking “value-add” investment opportunities in London that require experienced teams to turn them around and I am confident that this deal offers the potential to generate significant returns.

“Furthermore, we continue to note significant interest in the Fund, demonstrated by the equity raised in what continues to be a tight fund raising market, as well as ongoing discussions with investors.  We expect to announce further successful closes over the coming months.”

Taylor Wessing acted for Wainbridge on the legals and Beadmans on all construction aspects. McFarlanes acted for the vendor on the legals with CBRE acting as the vendor’s agent.