Almacantar buys London landmark

The start-up firm Almacantar has bought Centre Point next to London’s busiest shopping street, with a loan provided by Eurohypo.

Start-up firm Almacantar has bought the landmark Centre Point office block in London with finance coming from German bank Eurohypo.

Almacantar, which was founded by Mike Hussey, former London property portfolio manager at British property company Land Securities and Neil Jones, former chief executive of Continental Europe at Grosvenor Group, said it was the first acquisition for the firm.

No price has been revealed but in a recent report by Bloomberg, the news service suggested the building could cost £120 million (€135.4 million;$198.8 million)

The 34-storey-high, 233,000 square foot Centre Point is one of London’s best known high-rise buildings and was previously owned by a host of private equity real estate businesses. Previous owners include The Blackmoor Limited Partnership, comprising Apollo Real Estate Advisors before it renamed AREA Property Partners, Europa Capital Partners and Deutsche Bank.

It was most recently owned by Targetfollow Property Investment and Development before the company was placed into administration in October after failing to meet its debt obligation with lender Lloyds Banking Group.

Eurohypo has provided £50 million (€56 million; $82 million) of financing to Almacantar to buy the building. The five-year facility will also aide capital expenditure on the asset.

Almacantar was established in February 2010 and has reportedly raised €150 million of equity. Some €100 million of that is said to be from EXOR, the investment vehicle of the billionaire Agnelli family that owns a 72 percent stake in property services firm Cushman & Wakefield.

Its fund is structured as a club vehicle.