Published 18 September 2005
Macquarie Bank Ltd has acquired 2 UK office & business parks in a joint venture with UK-based office park developer Akeler for Â£150 million. The partners plan to expand the venture to Â£500 million in the next 2 years.
The acquisition, 85% owned by Macquarie and 15% by Akeler, will be funded by a combination of debt & equity.
Opening assets are 2 of Akeler’s flagship developments:
Reading International Business Park, an 8ha site with 34,806mÂ² of office space, completed in 2000-01, fully leased to a global communication company for its European headquarters. The park is near Junction 11 of the M4 Motorway, west of London
Central Quay, Glasgow, 7369mÂ² of fully leased A grade office space completed in 2002, immediately west of Glasgow city centre on the north bank of the River Clyde in the international financial services district.
Macquarie & Akeler have also established a 50:50 joint venture to manage & grow the portfolio. The head of Macquarie Bank’s property investment banking business, Matthew Banks, said: “Partnerships with best-of-breed operators like Akeler give our business a strong basis to grow in Europe and add to our global platform. The opportunity arose though our association with Macquarie Global Property Advisors, which was established last year and which has given us a broad footprint across Europe.
“The joint venture between Macquarie Property & Akeler will initially establish a wholesale fund and also explore other potential acquisitions within the office park sector. We’ll give further consideration to future options including a reit, depending on the UK legislation, which is currently under review.
“We have achieved considerable success for our investors with wholesale funds in Australia & internationally. Many major institutional investors are increasing their allocation to property and now including international property in their portfolio,” he said.
An executive director of Macquarie Bank’s property division, Graeme Wilson, said: “We will be seeking quality assets in the business park sector in the UK & Europe. Similar to our approach in Australia, quality assets with strict investment criteria will form the basis of any portfolio. Akeler’s development pipeline, as well as suitable 3rd-party assets, will be considered as further assets for the portfolio.”
Macquarie Bank & related entities manage $A24 billion of property assets through listed & unlisted property trusts, unlisted development funds & property investment syndicates. Macquarie Global Property Advisors Ltd, a joint venture with the bank, focuses on private equity real estate investment in Europe & Asia.
Akeler is a private real estate investment & development company, principally involved in developing, managing & investing in office & business parks in the UK & Europe. Formed 15 years ago, it was bought by Lend Lease Global Properties (a fund now managed by Macquarie Global Property Advisors as Global Property Fund No 1) in 2002 for Â£294 million from Security Capital European Realty SICAF. Akeler has 13 assets & a 370,000mÂ² development pipeline.