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USS adds Savoy House to burgeoning UK portfolio

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UK - The Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) has resumed its acquisition programme in the UK with the purchase of Savoy Court in the West End of London for £45.5m (€53.9m).

It is the first acquisition by the UK's second-largest pension fund since it acquired National Magazine House, also in the West End, in May 2010 for £42m.

During the period between both acquisitions, USS also sold a West End office for £22m.

Global real estate company Redevco sold Savoy House, which comprises 58,000 square feet of office space and 5,000 square feet of street-level retail adjacent to the recently refurbished Savoy Hotel.

The office space is currently let to Booz & Co on a lease expiring in 2017.

The deal represented an initial yield of 6.25%.

Alex Turner, office fund manager at USS, said: "Savoy Court is a strong addition to our property portfolio, offering robust income and good asset management opportunities in a landmark location.

"This acquisition takes our central London office acquisitions in 2010 to over £150m, reflecting our confidence in the continued resilience of this sub sector."

Simon Smith, managing director of Redevco UK, added: "This sale is in line with our policy of selling non-retail properties. Our main focus remains on high street retail and shopping centre and retail park development and investment."

USS has approximately £2.1bn in real estate assets and has entered into property transactions in the UK worth almost half this much alone during the past 18 months.
 

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