Crosstree Real Estate Partners, the private equity real estate business founded this year by former Blackstone Group principal Nick Lyle and former Starwood Capital Partners principal Sean Arnold, has acquired a large office building in London’s Mayfair.
According to a report by Property Week, the firm has purchased 1-3 Berkeley Street from Aviva Investors’ Life Funds in a deal valued at approximately £155 million. The magazine reported that the transaction was completed within just two weeks after going under offer.
The property comprises 365,976 square feet of offices, a 195-room hotel and five retail units. The sizeable transaction sees the firm, launched at the end of summer with backing from Swiss-Italian pharmaceuticals billionaire Ernesto Bertarelli, place down a serious early marker in the tight prime London real estate market. The firm is understood to have beaten off competition from rival bidders including London-based property company Derwent London, hotels business Peninsula Hotels and Northwood Investors, the private equity real estate firm led by another former Blackstone executive, John Kukral.
According to a report by the Financial Times at the time of Crosstree’s launch, the Bertarelli family is keen to invest up to £500 million initially in the UK as it starts building out a property empire. The firm also is expected to make investments in other sectors and regions in the UK and across various risk-return strategies.
Aviva’s Life Funds comprise approximately £7 billion of assets and include the Aviva Life and Pension UK Limited fund, the Aviva Linked Property Fund and Aviva Annuity Limited.