Cathay Life Insurance has bought a prime London office asset from a developer owned by Ares Management and Delancey.
The Taiwanese institutional investor has paid £575m (€802m) for the Walbrook Building in London’s City district.
The deal follow’s Cathay Life’s £320m purchase last year of the Woolgate Exchange building from private equity firm TPG and Ivanhoé Cambridge.
Taiwan’s largest insurance company spent some time assessing London’s real estate market for its first investment in overseas property, as reported.
The Taiwanese government relaxed foreign investment rules in 2013, allowing domestic insurance companies to invest abroad for the first time.
Minerva, the real estate investment and developor jointly owned by Ares and Delancey, said the 1.6 acre site is let to tenants including Worldpay, Arthur J Gallagher, Xchanging, and Vanguard. Virgin Active and Waitrose are also tenants of the 440,000 sqft building which Minerva bought in 2011.
The sale is Minerva’s fourth since 2011.
Cathay Life’s Taiwanese peer Fubon Life last year bought a London office property for £139m from LondonMetric Property. Early last year, Fubon Life said it was targeting European real estate for its first overseas investment in the asset class.
The insurer, a unit of Taiwan’s second-largest financial holding company, has “a close working relationship” with some local advisers in Europe, according Howard Lin, CIO at Fubon Financial Holdings.
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