W.P. Carey Buys Government-Occupied Office Asset in Manchester

W.P. Carey has bought an office asset in the third largest city in the U.K. from the Department of State for Communities and Local Government for $62 million.

W. P. CAREY INC. ACQUISITION

With European markets presenting much better investment opportunities, several more U.S.-based companies are expanding their overseas portfolios with the most diverse acquisitions. And W.P. Carey is getting on the bandwagon. The company has bought an office asset in the third largest city in the United Kingdom, Manchester, in North West England. According to a press statement released by the company, the fee paid by W. P. Carey to the former owner, the Department of State for Communities and Local Government, stood at a total of 40 million GBP, or $62 million.

The newly-purchased office property is located in the city of Manchester, in the Salford submarket. The area has been tapped to become one of the redevelopment hotbeds for the Greater Manchester area, having already drawn some attention due to the city’s dynamic office market, second only to the white- hot office scene of the capital city, London. The office asset is currently leased to the DCLG, according to a 15-year, triple-net leasing agreement, and is currently populated by employees of the UK’s tax department.

Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs has relocated a large chunk of its staff from a host of other facilities to the property in question. The office property currently holds around 2,000 of the tax department’s employees. With redevelopment efforts in Salford continuing, the area will surely attract other investors and developers. The presence of the HMRC here, and W.P. Carey’s acquisition of the property that the department occupies is also incentive and proof that there are business opportunities in the area.

The company’s position on the purchase was illustrated by Jennifer Lucas, director of W.P. Carey: “The transaction demonstrates (the company’s) ability to source and complete attractive deals in key European markets”. Lucas also went on to praise the economic environment in the UK, its AAA-rating, and the fortunate context of having acquired an asset that has attached “a Government lessee, a strong, long-term tenant”.