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British Land Co PLC (BLND)

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Monday 02 August, 2010

British Land Co PLC

Agreement for Leases signed w

RNS Number : 3175Q
British Land Co PLC
02 August 2010
 



 2 August 2010

 

British Land and Blackstone Sign Agreement for Leases with UBS to Develop New 700,000 sq ft Building at 4 and 6 Broadgate

 

 

The British Land Company PLC ("British Land") and Blackstone Group ("Blackstone") announce that Bluebutton Properties ("Bluebutton"), their joint venture company, has signed an agreement for leases with UBS AG ("UBS") to develop a new 700,000 sq ft building on the Broadgate Estate ("Broadgate").

 

The new building represents a significant commitment by UBS to the City and Broadgate in particular. The development marks another important stage in the ongoing investment programme at Broadgate, which will ensure that it remains the premier City of London office estate, providing modern world-class accommodation for its office, retail and leisure occupiers.

 

Transaction Highlights

 

·    A new 700,000 sq ft trading building, bespoke to UBS requirements, to be developed on the existing site of 4 and 6 Broadgate

·    An initial headline rent of £54.50 per sq ft with annual RPI linked increases with a weighted average lease length of 18.2 years

·    Deferral of breaks in existing UBS lease agreements on other Broadgate buildings 

·    Income security improved: increases average lease length at Broadgate by up to 2.4 years

·    Development costs of around £340 million (excluding land and interest costs)

·    Practical completion to shell and core scheduled for the second half of 2014

·    Transaction subject to planning approval

 

 

Chris Grigg, Chief Executive of British Land, comments: "We are delighted at this significant commitment by UBS to the City and Broadgate in particular. The transaction demonstrates the enduring appeal of this important City of London office estate.  At the same time, the new building will enhance the overall quality of Broadgate while generating an attractive development return."

 

Chad Pike, Senior Managing Director of Blackstone, comments, "Blackstone and British Land have both had long-standing and deep relationships with UBS. We are very excited to find yet another opportunity to work together. We are also excited to have the chance to make a substantial investment in a project that will rejuvenate Broadgate and retain 5,000 employees in the City of London by ensuring a high quality work environment."

 

 

 

 

Overview

 

British Land and Blackstone Group, through Bluebutton, have signed an agreement for leases with UBS to develop a new 700,000 sq ft building on the site of 4 and 6 Broadgate. UBS is currently the largest tenant in Broadgate and this agreement affirms their commitment to the Estate and the City of London.   The new building is designed for trading and general offices:  the four trading floors each are to have an area around one and a half acres and will be supported by plant with a resilience of 2N.

 

Broadgate is the premier office campus in the City, providing around 4.4 million sq ft of office, retail and leisure space. The re-development of 4 and 6 Broadgate is part of an ongoing investment programme in the Estate aimed at providing modern, world-class accommodation for occupiers. The agreement with UBS further improves the quality of the lease profile and income flow from the Estate.

 

The transaction is subject to obtaining approval of a planning application for the re-development of 4 and 6 Broadgate which the joint venture expects to submit later in the year. Vacant possession of the buildings has been secured UBS having surrendered its leases of 6 Broadgate to facilitate the development. British Land will be appointed by the Joint Venture to manage the development and will receive fees for this work.

 

On receipt of planning, construction work is expected to start in mid-2011 with practical completion to shell and core achieved during the second half of 2014.  Further details on the building will be provided once the planning application has been submitted.

 

Lease Terms

 

The new building, 5 Broadgate, will be fully let to UBS at an initial headline rent of £54.50 per sq ft subject to annual increases in line with RPI, within a range of 0% - 4% per annum, and with an 18-month rent free period.  The building is on a 20 year lease with 156,000 sq ft of the upper floors subject to break clauses at 10 and 15 years giving a weighted average lease term of 18.2 years to first break.  The current average lease length to first break on the Broadgate Estate is 8.1 years: the transaction increases the average lease length by up to 2.4 years.

 

UBS is currently the largest tenant in Broadgate occupying wholly or in part 5 buildings on the estate covering just over 1 million sq ft of office space.  The existing leases, which have tenant break options between September 2013 and 2017, generate annual passing rent of £45 million.

 

UBS has agreed to defer  lease break options on 755,000 sq ft of space they currently occupy (comprising 1-2 Finsbury Avenue, 8-10 Broadgate and 100 Liverpool Street) by an average guaranteed period of 24 months until UBS occupy 5 Broadgate, anticipated to be in Q1 2016 at the earliest. The break deferrals will generate additional contracted income to the joint venture of £68 million over the 24 month period if planning permission for the new building is obtained. If planning consent is not obtained, the rental income from break deferrals will be no less than £32 million.

 

Development Costs

 

The total development cost of the new building is expected to be £340 million excluding land and interest costs. The value of the two existing buildings at 30 June 2010 was £110 million.

 

 

 

 

Financing and Securitisation

 

14 of the 16 buildings which the joint venture own on the Broadgate Estate are financed by £1.9 billion of securitised bonds. 201 Bishopsgate and the Broadgate Tower, which were completed in 2008, are outside the securitisation. To facilitate the development of the new UBS building, 4 and 6 Broadgate have been removed from the securitisation and substituted by 201 Bishopsgate and The Broadgate Tower.  At the same time, £226 million of cash collateral has been released from the securitisation and used to re-pay and cancel a £243 million loan facility (£209 million drawn) provided by British Land to the joint venture.

 

British Land has chosen to provide out of the proceeds from this loan repayment a new development loan facility of up to £320 million to the joint venture secured against the new building, 5 Broadgate. The loan, which is assignable and on commercial terms, includes an interest cost of 3% pa above LIBOR and market based fees.

 

Enquiries:

British Land

Investor Relations
Sally Jones, British Land                               020 7467 2942

Media 
Pip Wood, British Land                                 020 7467 2838
Gordon Simpson, Finsbury Group                  020 7251 3801

Guy Lamming, Finsbury Group

 

Blackstone
Natasha Baxter                                             020 7451 4026

 

 

Notes to Editors

 

About Broadgate

Broadgate is the largest office estate in the City of London. Started in 1985 it has become a dynamic, thriving business community where over 30,000 people work each day. Today Broadgate is home to some of the largest major financial services firms in the world as well as some of the UKs best known retail and leisure brands.

 

The Estate has been developed in phases over the last 25 years. In 2008, the completion of two new buildings, 201 Bishopsgate and the Broadgate Tower, added a further 822,000 of prime office space. Today the estate comprises 16 buildings providing 4.4 million sq ft of office, retail and leisure space. The current average lease length to first break is 8.1 years and the Estate generates annual contracted rent of £184 million. As at 30 June 2010, Broadgate's occupancy rate was 96%.

 

 


Space (sq ft)

Annual Passing Rent

Between 1 and 3 years

463,000

8%

Between 3 and 5 years

848,000

20%

Over 5 years

2,800,000

72%

Excludes development space



 

 

About British Land

British Land is one of the UK's largest Real Estate Investment Trusts with total assets, owned or under management, valued at £13.5 billion (British Land share £8.5 billion) as at 31 March 2010. The hallmark of the business is a focus on customers, based on a portfolio in prime locations in the UK and more recently in Western Europe. Active management of these assets, purchases and sales and new development activity, tailor the property holdings to meet the needs of occupiers. Retail assets account for 66% of the portfolio, 85% of which is located at prime out-of-town sites. Central London Offices comprise 32% of the portfolio.

 

About Blackstone

Blackstone is one of the world's leading investment and advisory firms. It seeks to create positive economic impact and long-term value for its investors, the companies it invests in, the companies it advises and the broader global economy. Blackstone does this through the commitment of its extraordinary people and flexible capital. Blackstone's alternative asset management businesses includes the management of private equity funds, real estate funds, funds of hedge funds, credit-oriented funds, collateralised loan obligation vehicles (CLOs) and closed-end mutual funds. The Blackstone Group also provides various financial advisory services, including financial and strategic advisory, restructuring and reorganisation advisory and fund placement services.

 

About Bluebutton Properties Ltd

Bluebutton Propertes was established in November 2009, and is a 50:50 joint venture between British Land and Blackstone funds. Bluebutton Properties is the parent company which owns the Broadgate Estate.


This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange
 
END
 
 
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