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As Chinese investment continues in the UK, there are recent reports that the country’s state-backed insurance company China Life is intending to enter into a 50% ownership agreement for 99 Bishopsgate. China Life is the largest commercial insurance company in mainland China with assets amounting to more than £105 billion. It is also one of China’s largest institutional investors.
The building, Brookfield’s City headquarters, purchased by Brookfield in 2012 for around £279 million, has an estimated value of £340 million, which amounts to a capital value per square metre of £1,030 and a yield of about 4.8%. Current tenants include Deutsche Bank and i2Office, and a potential sale of the building has been in the pipeline since earlier this year.
A related development is Brookfield’s reputed decision to press forward with its development at 100 Bishopsgate, a tower scheme of 40 floors of around 950,000 square feet that has been under consideration for over ten years. At present it is believed that no tenants have agreed to pre-let the building, but that this will not hinder construction.
Planning permission was granted for 100 Bishopsgate in 2005, for two buildings comprising office and retail space, with a public square of half an acre. Brookfield had owned all but 12.5% of the site, but in November of last year purchased its final stake, resulting in 100% ownership.
China Life has also invested in other London offices; it paired up with the Qatari government to purchase a majority share in 10 Upper Bank Street at Canary Wharf last year, in a 70/20 split, with 10% owned by Canary Wharf Group.
This news was brought to you by Morgan Pryce, a specialist tenant acquisition agent with offices in Oxford Circus and the City. Morgan Pryce specialises in search, negotiation and project management and works exclusively for tenants.