EUROPE - St George, part of the Berkeley Group, has acquired part of the former News International headquarters in east London for £150m (€175m).

The 15 acre development, used by the News Corporation subsidiary for over two decades as the base for its UK newspaper business, has been vacant for two years, with a statement by the company saying it offers the chance to create a "dynamic new residential-led quarter" within the central region of London.

Ross Faragher, managing director of St George's said he hoped the plans would "revitalise" the area.

"This is our first significant acquisition in [the London Borough of] Tower Hamlets for many years and St George is delighted to be investing in the borough again," he said.

CBRE, who advised on the transaction, said Wapping Village - as the site is now known - was the "only development site of its calibre" to be on the market in recent years and cited its vicinity to several London landmarks, as well as its transport connections.

Meanwhile in the Nordics, the investment management business of Deutsche Asset Management, RREEF Real Estate, has acquired a mixed use development in the greater Helsinki area on behalf of its German open-ended property fund, grundbesitz europa.

The project called 'Safiiri' was acquired for approximately €50m from the Finnish real estate developer, YIT.

This recently completed building is located in a new development area near Helsinki.
Ulrich Steinmetz, managing director at RREEF in Germany, said the "crucial" factors in the acquisition were the long-term leases with tenants possessing "excellent" credit ratings, the high quality of the property and its "excellent" location.

Elsewhere, student housing provider Unite has signed a 15-year agreement with King's College London to provide accommodation for its students.

The agreement will see the university rent 97% of a new development near the transport hub of London Bridge, with over 650 rooms assigned to students.

The development, Moonraker point, is part of a £165m spend by Unite in the London Borough of Southwark as it expands its presence.