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Mapletree bags £600m UK business park

The Singapore-based developer-cum-manager has continued its investment strategy of increasing its portfolio across several real estate sectors in the UK. 

Mapletree Investments has acquired a UK business park for a figure understood to be close to £600 million ($868 million; €776 million). 

Green Park, located in Reading, which is 30 miles west of London, provides around 1.4 million square feet of space with further development potential of 1.1 million square feet.

It is home to corporations such as PepsiCo, Huawei, Cisco and Veritas and consists of 19 buildings, with a working population of 6,500 people. It has a current occupancy rate of 93 percent.

The seller was Toronto-based Oxford Property Group, the global real estate arm of the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, the Canadian pension fund.

The deal has been incorrectly reported as around £500 million, but PERE can confirm it is around £600 million. Oxford, who will continue to act as asset manager until the end of the year, stands to make a profit of around £200 million after reportedly buying the business park in 2011 for £400 million.

Green Park is accessible by train from central London, with journey times at just 20 minutes, while the new Crossrail train service will shorten commute times even further upon completion in 2019. Heathrow Airport is also less than an hour’s drive away.

Hiew Yoon Khong, Mapletree’s group chief executive officer, said: “Mapletree’s acquisition of Green Park is aligned with our current five-year business plan to acquire quality, income-producing assets with long weighted average leases to expiry which are anchored by a strong tenant base. We will review the park’s well-developed master plan, and put in place new facilities and activities.”

A spokesman added that the firm intends to continue investing in offices and business parks in city-fringe locations and regional markets, as well as in other sectors such as student housing, privately-rented apartments and logistics space in the UK.

Mapletree currently manages five real estate funds, which together hold a portfolio of assets in Singapore and Asia Pacific. The Green Park site is understood to have been purchased directly rather than through an investment vehicle.

The firm has real estate assets under management of $30 billion, with $2 billion located in the UK.