Blackstone buys London complex for £340m

The New York-based private equity and real estate giant has signed a deal to purchase Devonshire Square, a 12-building office and retail complex, from ADIA and Rockpoint.

The Blackstone Group has bought a massive office and retail complex in the City of London.

The Financial Times reported that Blackstone has signed a deal to acquire Devonshire Square, a former warehouse turned 12-building office and retail campus, from the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) and the Rockpoint Group for £340 million (€423.3 million, $547.5 million). The asset is located near the Broadgate development that Blackstone jointly owns with UK property investor British Land. 

ADIA and Rockpoint initially bought the Devonshire Square complex in 2006 for £410 million, and the asset has been on the market since January of this year. Blackstone, ADIA and Rockpoint declined to comment. 

Devonshire Square currently is 99 percent leased. However, its anchor tenant, insurance firm Aon, is set to move out of the property and into the Cheesegrater building, British Land’s new skyscraper, in 2015. Aon currently accounts for 45 percent of the complex’s £25 million annual rent roll, which leaves Blackstone with three years to find a new anchor tenant for the 626,135-square-foot property. Other tenants include restaurant Cinnamon Kitchen, UK supermarket Planet Organic and health club Fitness First. 

Separately, it was announced earlier this week that Blackstone made its first purchase in Singapore with the $173 million acquisition of the StarHub Green office park from SEB Asset Management. Last month, it was reported that the firm bought a 17 million-square-foot portfolio of 69 US industrial properties from Dexus Property Group for $820 million.