Europa sells UK offices for ₤47m

The joint venture between Europa and The Property Merchant Group bought the former T Mobile headquarters for €85 million in December 2004.

A joint venture between Europa Capital and The Property Merchant Group has sold Imperial Place, an office complex located on the edge of Borehamwood, to Schroder Real Estate Venture Group for £47 million ($89 million, €70 million).

The 225,000-square-foot complex, which served as the headquarters of mobile phone operator T Mobile until 2004, is composed of four buildings constructed between 1992 and 2000. The joint venture purchased Imperial Place in December 2004 for €85 million, according to a March 2005 statement from Europa. The firms pumped €5 million into renovations on the property, according to Europa’s Rob Sim.

Since then, nearly half the space has been leased to companies including Signet, Pizza Hut, Groupama Insurance and Bradford and Bingley. Richard Ellis and Lambert Smith Hampton have been appointed as joint leasing agents.

The sale was completed off-market after Schroders approached the joint venture. The joint venture saw a chance for an “opportunistic early sale,” Noel Manns, a principal at the firm said in a statement.

The investment was made out of Europa Fund II, which closed on €450 billion in August 2005. The opportunity fund invests in retail, office, industrial and logistics in Western and Central Europe. In other transactions, it has acquired shopping centers in Yorkshire, a distribution park in Warsaw and offices in Budapest.

Schroders acquired the property out of its Gresham II fund, which has acquired 15 properties for £300 million, mainly in London and southeast England. Cushman & Wakefield advised the joint venture, while Richard Ellis advised Schroder.