GLOBAL - A consortium of Gulf-based investors led by an unnamed pension fund has acquired three office buildings in a Cambridge business park for £23m (€26.4m) via a joint venture with fund manager Alpha Tiger Property Trust.
The Cambourne Business Park asset comes with broad planning permission that Alpha Tiger believes will make it competitive with not only with its R&D neighbours in the lab-dominated Silicon Fen, but with Cambridge city centre office.
The fund manager contributed £1.2m of the acquisition cost.
The asset is almost fully let. The fund manager will re-let offices leased by one tenant not currently in occupation.
Brad Bauman, a fund manager at Alpha Tiger, said the shariah-compliant acquisition was an opportunity to add value by re-gearing existing leases to institutional quality.
"It's a mild asset management play - not a rebuild or a significant change," said Bauman.
David Swan, managing director of boutique WW Advisors, which advised the Gulf consortium, confirmed this was the second UK acquisition for a 19-asset portfolio he described as "core-plus to value-added".
The first was an Orpington in-town shopping centre acquired last month via a three-way joint venture, with plans for an additional £30m investment to expand and reposition the asset.
WW Advisors its currently in negotiations with a view to acquiring a third, mixed-use UK asset for the consortium.
Swan said the investors had no specific emphasis on prime - or on specific sectors - but that diversification was a priority.
"We're just looking for opportunities," he said. "Orpington and Cambourne are very different - and that's a positive thing."
The consortium - led by a pension fund and a private equity firm - comprises Gulf-based pension funds and family offices, but no sovereign wealth funds.
Swan is a former director of Bahrain-based private equity group Arcapita.