AREA Property Partners returns to London offices

The US firm is teaming with Peter Beckwith’s PMB Holdings to buy an office in the heart of the financial district

AREA Property Partners has become the latest US opportunity fund to acquire a central London office.

The New York-based firm has teamed up with PMB Holdings, the private investment vehicle of entrepreneur Peter Beckwith to acquire Gartmore House in the financial district.

It is fully let to fund manager Gartmore, and was purchased from Hines’ European Value Added Fund.

A number of US opportunity funds have been getting back into central London offices after a sustained period of absence. The Blackstone Group and Starwood Capital, for example, have both acquired stakes or taken control of prime London offices in recent months.

PMB Holdings and AREA have been partners in the UK before through the Ambassador Theatre Group and in the European leisure sector via their holding in Aspria Clubs for more than 10 years. However, the parties said in a statement that this was their first direct property joint venture in the UK. No value was placed on the deal.

Edward Jones, director of PMB Holdings, said the asset required “hands-on” management expertise, in a City office market poised for real growth.

Wilson Lamont, director of AREA Property Partners, said the firm had not invested meaningfully in the City office market for the past five years.