AXA Investment Managers - Real Assets (“AXA IM - Real Assets”), the leading real estate portfolio and asset manager in Europe(1), announces that it has agreed the acquisition of the Asticus Building in a prime location in Victoria, central London, for a total amount of £80 million (€105 million)(2). The transaction is made on behalf of AXA IM - Real Assets’ recently launched AXA CoRE Europe Fund (“AXA CoRE Europe” or “the Fund”), managed by AXA REIM SGP(3). This will be the Fund’s first UK acquisition, following on from that of France’s tallest tower, Tour First, located in Paris, alongside a club of investors, in March this year. The vendor is the Aberdeen UK Property Fund.
The transaction is in line with AXA CoRE Europe’s objective of providing institutional investors with long-term stable income through the acquisition of core real estate assets across Europe, capitalising on individual market dynamics and timing.
The 60,731 sqft (5,642 sqm) flexible Grade A office accommodation is multi-let to a number of strong tenants. Arranged over a basement, ground and nine upper floors of 5,000-10,000 sqft (465-930 sqm) floor plates, the popularity of the space is evidenced by virtually zero vacancy levels during the last nine years.
The Asticus Building is located in the immediate vicinity of some of London’s most iconic landmarks, including Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament and in the heart of one of the West End’s most dynamic occupier markets. The building benefits from world-class connectivity, located in close proximity to two underground stations, Victoria mainline station as well as the proposed Crossrail II route.
Rainer Suter, Fund leader for AXA CoRE Europe, commented: “The Asticus Building is a significant acquisition for AXA IM - Real Assets, offering a high-quality, freehold office investment which creates plentiful near-term asset and income enhancement opportunities. Victoria is host to a number of leading businesses and the strategic location of this asset, coupled with the quality of tenants, fits well with the stated Fund commitment of targeting mainstream assets that have a high building quality let to strong tenants on a medium-to-long term basis.”
Huw Stephens, Head of UK Transactions at AXA IM - Real Assets added: “AXA IM - Real Assets is committed to substantial investment in the UK property market and this acquisition is testament to its confidence in London’s long-term attraction as a leading business centre.”
AXA Investment Managers