(London) – Aviva Investors, the global asset management business of Aviva plc (‘Aviva’), announces that it has completed a joint investment with Obayashi Corporation (‘Obayashi’), one of Japan’s leading construction groups, to acquire the remaining 50 per cent share in 20 Gracechurch Street, London EC3.
The deal brings both the freehold and leasehold for the 16-storey property under the full ownership and control of Aviva Investors and Obayashi, as part of a joint venture partnership between the two firms which will focus on commercial property investments in central London. It is the third investment made by Obayashi in London, with the firm building on its established portfolio of Japanese office assets.
As part of the agreement between the two firms, Aviva Investors will also be responsible for asset management of one of London’s most characteristic postmodern buildings, which spans 270,000 sq ft and 43,000 sq ft of office and retail space respectively.
James Stevens, Head of Real Estate Investment at Aviva Investors, said:
“We are pleased to build a partnership with Obayashi at Gracechurch Street, a firm which shares our vision on the future of real estate and is well-aligned with our long-term investment strategy in the capital. We look forward to working with them in identifying these opportunities, as we build out an investment programme across central London. By bringing decision-making for the leasehold and freehold under other full control of the Partnership, we believe we will be able to continue driving its investment performance and use this to deliver positive long-term results for our investor clients.”
Jiro Otsuka, Senior Managing Executive Officer, Head of Real Estate Development Division, at Obayashi, added:
“We are delighted to increase our allocation to central London, and particularly the city’s office market, which we expect will continue to offer significant long-term potential. Partnering with a like-minded business such as Aviva Investors provides us with leading local market expertise and the ability to coinvest alongside one of Europe’s largest real estate investors. We believe we will be able to develop a compelling portfolio of assets and have every confidence that our partnership will provide us with access to attractive opportunities in the coming years.”