UK/South Korea - Rockspring Property Investment Managers has acquired the first two UK real estate assets for the National Pension Service (NPS) of South Korea, after being appointed to target prime central London assets.

The two office acquisitions - 88 Wood Street and a 50% interest in 40 Grosvenor Place - were made for newly-established NPS Central London Property Limited Partnership and cost more than a combined £260m (€290m).

88 Wood Street (pictured) is a landmark tower in the City of London built by architect Richard Rogers and was purchased for £183m from ING Real Estate Investment Management.

It offers 247,000 square feet of office space across 17 floors and is let to a number of multinational companies including Mitsubishi, Hewlett Packard, Collins Stewart, Bryan Cave and National Australia Bank.

The total current income equates to approximately £12.7m per annum with an average weighted lease expiry in excess of 10 years.
Rockspring secured a new debt facility with German bank Bayern LB for £91.5m as part of the acquisition.

The 50% stake in 40 Grosvenor Place in Victoria was acquired for approximately £85m from Invista Real Estate Investment Management, with the Grosvenor London Office Fund continuing to hold the other 50% interest in the asset.

The building comprises six floors of office space, let to tenants including Capital International, Bluecrest, LEK Consulting and EDF Energy, as well as two restaurants on the ground floor, with a total net rental income of approximately £11.7m per annum.

These acquisitions are part of an investment mandate which is being undertaken by Rockspring on behalf of NPS, the fifth largest pension fund in the world, to invest in Central London trophy assets.

The fund manager is targeting major landmark assets, typically valued in excess of £150m, located from the West End through to the City in both the office and retail sector.

"These two iconic properties clearly demonstrate the type of assets which we will continue to source on behalf of NPS, as they benefit from a prime location and are well let to major tenants," said Robert Gilchrist, chief executive at Rockspring and fund director for NPS Central London Property LP.

"The quality of the assets is reflected in the fact that we were able secure major new financing for the Wood Street acquisition.
"We are delighted to have completed these first transactions on behalf of our client as we continue to make strong progress on other possible acquisitions. We hope to be able to announce further transactions shortly," he added.