HSBC, Hines buy £300m London asset(2)

The alternative investment arm of HSBC bank and Hines, the US developer-cum-fund manager, have acquired a prime London office development scheme for a reported £300m. HSBC is investing on behalf of a syndicate of private clients.

HSBC bank and Dallas-based Hines have teamed up to buy a large office-led development in the middle of London’s financial district for a reported £300 million (€381 million; £468 million), according to various reports.

The acquisition of Broadgate West has been made by HSBC Alternative Investments Limited (HAIL) on behalf of its ‘Club Programme’ which gives HSBC clients exposure to prime assets in Europe and the US.

This latest deal follows a 12-month period of activity that has seen HAIL not only buy 1540 Broadway in New York last year but also the 44-storey, 907,000 square-foot trophy office building, 4 New York Plaza, in Manhattan’s financial district in May this year.

In both transactions HSBC teamed up with joint venture partners just as it has done with the more recent London investment.

Broadgate West is a 457,000 square feet office-led scheme incorporating two phases completed in 2000 and in 2003. Both buildings are fully let to tenants including Swiss banking giant UBS, GFI, Ashurst and Shearman & Sterling. The seller was a private property company owned by Peter Marano and Michael Dennis.

The HAIL investment programme is targeting the US and Europe, but plans to expand to Asia, according to the firm. It invests on behalf of a syndicate of private banking clients from developed and emerging markets – including high-net-worth investors from HSBC’s Asian banking centres.

Paul Forshaw, head of real estate fund management at HSBC Alternative Investments Limited, said:  “We have been able to provide HSBC clients with direct exposure to otherwise inaccessible real estate opportunities globally. The strong take-up from investors is certainly testament to the quality of the assets we have acquired.  The acquisition of Broadgate West in joint venture with Hines fits our strategy of investing in high quality office buildings with credit worthy tenants alongside strong local asset management partners.”