Apia Regional Office Fund acquires 7 new assets in innovative assets for equity swap
26 May 2010
(London): Aviva Investors and Warner Estate Holdings plc, joint managers of the Apia Regional Office Fund (Apia), announce the acquisition of seven new assets via an innovative swap arrangement with a client of Scottish Widows Investment Partnership (SWIP).
The transaction will see Apia acquire seven regional office assets, totaling 157,000sq ft. from SWIP, in exchange for an equity holding in the fund. The investment further diversifies Apia’s asset portfolio and introduces new opportunities to maximise returns through tenant engineering and asset management initiatives.
At the same time, Apia has also completed the sale of St George’s East in Wimbledon to SWIP.
Andrew Appleyard, Head of Specialist Funds, Aviva Investors, said: “This transaction has really strengthened the fundamentals of the fund and was an innovative solution to the current issues associated with sourcing high-quality UK commercial real estate assets at an affordable price. We were also delighted to welcome SWIP’s client, as a new investor, as part of the transaction.
“Apia is one of the only specialist vehicles investing exclusively in UK regional offices, and the investment by SWIP’s client endorses both the fund’s investment credentials and the success of its recent modernisation strategy. We believe we are now in a position to optimise returns to investors, having introduced flexible exit provisions and shortened the life of the fund.
“The fund also completed a re-financing at the end of 2009, which provided the platform to secure new investment.”
The seven properties being transferred to Apia are multi-let office and business park assets in Cambridge, Marlow and Wokingham, with total annual rentals of more than £2.4 million. Warner Estate is confident of seeing early asset management successes with a potential letting at Victory House in Cambridge.
Jon Bailey, Investment Director of SWIP added: “The swap offered the client the opportunity to diversify its exposure to regional offices, whilst still retaining an interest in the transferred assets. The acquisition of Wimbledon complemented the client’s portfolio by offering secure income with asset management opportunities.”
Aviva Investors is the fund manager and Warner Estate the asset manager of the Apia Regional Office Fund. Strutt & Parker, Joiner Cummings and Jones Lang LaSalle advised the parties.
For more information contact:
+44 (0)20 7809 8618
Pia Choudhury/Sophie Elliott
0207 828 5553
Notes to Editors
Aviva Investors is the global asset management business of Aviva plc. The company delivers investment management solutions, services and client-driven performance to clients worldwide. Aviva Investors is located in 16 countries in Asia Pacific, Europe, North America and the United Kingdom with assets under management of almost £250 billion at 31 December 2009.
- Aviva is the world’s fifth largest* insurance group, serving 53 million customers across Europe, North America and Asia Pacific
- Aviva’s main business activities are long-term savings, fund management and general insurance, with worldwide total sales of £45.1 billion and funds under management of £379 billion at 31 December 2009
* Based on gross worldwide premiums for the year ended 31 December 2008
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