Blackstone poised for UK return

In its first deal for 15 months in the UK, The Blackstone Group is reportedly close to buying Chiswick Park business park for £480 million. The office complex is west of central London.

The Blackstone Group is reportedly the preferred bidder to buy Chiswick Park business park near Central London for £480 million (€573 million; $744 million).

In its first UK real estate acquisition for around 15 months, the New York-based firm is said to be in pole position to acquire the 1.8 million square foot business complex five miles west of the capital’s centre.

According to reports, Chiswick Park Unit Trust, the vehicle which owns the asset, expired at the end of 2009, but shareholders only decided later in 2010 to offload it amid strong demand for prime property. 

Moorfied, a London-based private equity real estate firm, and London & Stamford, an opportunity fund that converted into a REIT last year, are said to have been contenders alongside Blackstone.

Schroder Property and Aberdeen Property Investors along with private property company Stanhope manage the ownership vehicle. A statement by William Hill, head of property at Schroders, read: “We have signed an exclusivity agreement and that includes confidentiality clauses, therefore I am not able to make any further comment.”

The deal, if it completes, would be Blackstone’s first sizeable UK deal since September 2009 when it announced the formation of a joint venture with UK REIT British Land to acquire the Broadgate office complex at Liverpool Street station in London’s financial district.

The venture acquired a 50 per cent interest in Broadgate which was valued at £1.07 billion.