AXA Real Estate acquires Ropemaker Place for GBP472m

By Bridging Loan Directory -


AXA Real Estate Investment Managers, acting on behalf of three clients, has led the acquisition of Ropemaker Place, a prime office building in the City of London, for GBP472m from The British Land Company Plc.

AXA Real Estate has made the acquisition on behalf of a European and two Asian investors in a joint venture structured as a UK real estate investment trust.

Located in close proximity to the new Crossrail entrance at Moorgate train and Underground station, Ropemaker Place was completed in May 2009 to an Arup Associates design and is a 20 storey 602,000 sq ft building providing 571,000 sq ft of Grade A office accommodation with supplemental retail and ancillary accommodation.  Let to investment grade tenants including Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi and Macquarie Bank for an average of 14 years, the asset produces a current income of GBP24m pa (GBP41 psf) with minimum contractual increases by September 2015 to GBP27.5m pa (GBP47.50 psf).

Ropemaker Place has a BREEAM Excellent sustainability rating and is the first building in the City of London to achieve a LEED Platinum pre-certification for sustainability.

The transaction is AXA Real Estate’s second major central London office acquisition on behalf of clients in the past six months.

AXA Real Estate led an investor advisory team which also included Nabarro, Deloitte and Strutt & Parker.  The British Land Company was advised by SJ Berwin and Jones Lang LaSalle.

The acquisition of Ropemaker Place follows the forward commitment in September 2012 to purchase a 398,000 sq ft, 50 per cent pre-let office development in King’s Cross, from developer BNP Paribas Real Estate, in joint venture with a large third party international partner.  It also adds to the 485,000 sq ft of Grade A office space within the City of London that AXA Real Estate is set to deliver during 2013 and 2014, through three landmark office developments comprising:

• Sixty London, a 235,000 sq ft scheme located on Holborn Viaduct close to the Crossrail and Underground station at Farringdon
• Six Bevis Marks, a 170,000 sq ft project located in the heart of London’s insurance district; and
• One St Paul’s, an 80,000 sq ft refurbishment project which is adjacent to St Paul’s Cathedral.

Anne Kavanagh, global head of asset management at AXA Real Estate, said:

“This acquisition of Ropemaker Place is a further demonstration of our ability both to source core investment-grade product across Europe and to bring together international institutional investment partners with similar investment criteria into club deals and joint ventures.

“This transaction also highlights our commitment to structuring innovative new real estate investment products for our clients.”