Novo Nordisk HQ Commands $305M

Cushman & Wakefield orchestrated the deal, which is the largest single-asset sale in New Jersey this year.

By Barbra Murray

Novo Nordisk Headquarters, 800 Scudders, Plainsboro, NJ
Novo Nordisk’s North American headquarters, Plainsboro, NJ

Plainsboro, N.J.—The North American headquarters of Novo Nordisk at 800 Scudders Mill Road in Plainsboro, N.J., has come under new ownership in the largest single-asset trade in New Jersey this year. Joint venture partners Intercontinental Real Estate Corp., Ivy Equities, and LCOR Inc., sold the 762,000-square-foot office campus to Korean investment firm Hana Asset Management Co. for $305 million.

“In New Jersey, in spite of mediocre fundamentals in the office sector, sales are robust with significant interest from both overseas and the orthodox community. We are well on our way to a record year in office sales,” Andrew Merin, a vice chairman with Cushman & Wakefield, told Commercial Property Executive. The firm represented the joint venture’s minority owners, Ivy Equities and LCOR, while commercial real estate and capital markets services provider Holliday Fenoglio Fowler LP, which initiated the marketing process, represented Intercontinental, the majority owner. Commercial real estate services firm Lee & Associates represented Hana in the transaction.

Developed in 1985 for Merrill Lynch, 800 Scudders Mill consists of nine interconnected buildings on a 58-acre site in the Princeton submarket. The Class A property last changed hands in 2011, when Ivy sold the asset to a joint venture it had formed with LCOR and Intercontinental for $102.7 million. The partners inked a deal with Novo Nordisk to occupy the office property following a $215 million gut renovation, which reached completion in 2013. Novo Nordisk currently makes its home in 563,000 square feet under a lease that gives the pharmaceutical company the option to expand its footprint through April 2031. Novo Nordisk plans to exercise that option.

Cushman & Wakefield pulled double duty on the deal. In addition to representing the sellers, the firm worked on the buyer’s behalf to arrange financing and future funding linked to Novo Nordisk’s impending expansion. The firm had its work cut out for it.

“This was indeed a complex transaction involving a foreign entity trying to understand structural considerations for financing in the U.S.,” John Alascio, a managing director with Cushman & Wakefield, said in a statement. “Future funding components are always complex in terms of logistics and obtaining lender approval. It can often be easier with single-tenant financing, which this is, but in this instance, given the nature of future funding and the earn-out of space to the tenant, it was particularly challenging. Overall, we delivered the best deal in the marketplace, working around the structural concerns of both the buyer and seller.”