The opportunity was identified to purchase in a portfolio, 5 well located good secondary office buildings on the fringe of the West End of London, in a Joint Venture with Partner equity and bank debt. The properties were located in Bolsover St, Seymour Mews, Connaught Pl, Charterhouse St and Oval Rd Camden.
The portfolio was a mixture of freehold and leasehold, single and multi-let buildings with short leases and one was entirely vacant. The strategy was to let vacant space (accounting for around 25% of the total space), into an improving Central London office market, increasing net income and reducing non recoverables. Some of the buildings offered the opportunity to pursue redevelopment , refurbishment and enter into regears with freeholders where ground leases existed.
Due to the downturn the Bank were not keen to inject further capital to pursue the original objectives fully and contrary to the wishes of the equity holders a decision was made to sell the portfolio . A sale of the corporate vehicle was agreed with Hermes in October 2010, for £47m.