Highcross acquires portfolio of four regional office buildings for £9 million

Highcross has acquired a portfolio of four regional office buildings located in Preston, Leeds, Sheffield and Hull for a transaction consideration of £9 million. The deal reflects a net initial yield of 12.53 per cent. The acquired portfolio totals 118,806 sq ft and is let to 27 tenants including Hewlett Packard, Lloyds Banking Group, Big Lottery Fund and Storeys SSP.

Richard Pellatt, Director of Highcross' Northern office commented that the purchase represented an opportunity to acquire a quality office portfolio with a diverse regional spread and strong mix of tenants. Pellatt said the prime locations and building flexibility offer excellent opportunities for increasing occupancy and enhancing asset values. With over £200 million of equity available for new purchases, Highcross remains keen to acquire properties in established regional locations which provide active asset management angles, said Pellatt.

The assets are, Midgery Court in Fulwood Business Park, Preston totals 48,708 sq ft across four buildings; the 21,402 sq ft Carlton Tower is located in Leeds city centre; Carbrook Business Park in Sheffield comprises 10,047 sq ft in close proximity to the Meadowhall shopping centre whilst the 38,863 sq ft Marina Court in Hull is situated overlooking the city’s marina.

Highcross acquired the portfolio from Northern Britain Property Partners who were advised by Ryden and Allsop.

Matthew Edwards, Regional Managing Partner of Ryden in Leeds commented that the sale to Highcross confirms there is still demand for good quality property with genuine asset management opportunities. Edwards further said that the properties were marketed individually and as a portfolio and generated a good level of interest from investors.
Highcross invests in commercial properties that have the potential to offer significant added value through active asset management or development. Its property portfolio includes 15 million sq ft of office and industrial premises, across the UK.  Properties range from managed workspace and serviced offices to industrial estates and business parks.

Highcross has been continually expanding its portfolio, through acquisition and development activities. In early 2008, Highcross raised approaching £1.5 billion for its third fund, taking the combined potential value of its three funds to around £3 billion. Highcross subsidiaries include Bizspace and Pure Offices.

Bizspace is a leading provider of flexible managed workspace, with more than 100 sites across the UK. Highcross is also providing funding for Pure Offices.  Pure Offices is a growing company developing new and affordable serviced offices and also acquiring suitable existing business centers.

21st March 2011