NBIM, Crown Estate extend London joint venture with West End deal
Norway’s Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM) and the UK’s Crown Estate have joined forces to buy a majority stake in the Pollen Estate, 730,000 sq ft of property in London’s West End.
NBIM, which manages Norway’s former oil fund, the Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG), has paid £343m (€431m) for a 57.8% stake in the estate, and the Crown Estate has acquired a 6.4% holding.
The total deal value was £381m, implying the Crown Estate paid £38m for its portion.
The two institutional investors bought the total 64.2% stake in the Pollen Estate – spread over four acres – from the Church Commissioners for England, a Church of England endowment charity.
The investors said the deal followed on from their Regent Street partnership, under which the Crown Estate owns 75% of the £3.25bn Regent Street portfolio – consisting of assets adjoining the Pollen Estate holdings – and the GPFG owns 25%.
David Shaw, head of the Regent Street Portfolio, said: “With the benefit of our partnership holdings in Regent Street, we recognised the long-term investment opportunity of the Pollen Estate holdings, particularly in their core streets of Savile Row and Cork Street.”
Shaw said the two streets had international reputations for tailoring and art galleries, respectively.
“The success of these two streets is crucial to the ongoing success of London’s West End as an international destination,” he said.
The deal is the largest single property sale undertaken by the Church Commissioners, the Crown Estate said.
NBIM said the price it paid was net of the GPFG’s £36.1m share of total existing debt.
Property in the Pollen Estate, established in 1812, is situated mainly between Regent Street and Bond Street, and consists of 43 assets.
Half of the space is office, and half is retail.
The board of the Pollen Estate trustee company will continue to oversee asset management of the portfolio.