Facebook HQ sold to German fund for £435m

The deal is one of the largest investment transactions in the property market since the UK voted to leave the European Union. Photo / File
The deal is one of the largest investment transactions in the property market since the UK voted to leave the European Union. Photo / File

A German fund has bought Facebook's new London headquarters for £435m, in one of the biggest deals completed since June's referendum.

Deka Immobilien bought the building, called Rathbone Square, from developer Great Portland Estates, allowing the UK-listed company to return a profit of £110m to its shareholders.

Rathbone Square, which will contain almost 250,000 sq ft of office space and 142 apartments, is still under construction but is expected to be completed next month, with Facebook moving in later this year.

The deal is one of the largest investment transactions in the property market since the UK voted to leave the European Union, further quelling fears that the uncertainty in the market following the vote would stifle investment in London commercial property.

However, the price paid by Deka is 4pc lower than the amount the building was valued at in September, Great Portland Estates said, indicating that the market, which is widely thought to have peaked around 18 months ago, could be slowing.

Toby Courtauld, chief executive of Great Portland Estates, said: "Rathbone Square is our largest ever development scheme and this sale continues our successful strategy of recycling capital out of assets where we have created significant value."

Great Portland Estates purchased the site in 2011, before starting building work in 2014.

Mr Courtauld added that the money from the sale would be used to invest in its existing 1.7m sq ft development pipeline, and finding new opportunities.

Deka manages assets worth around €240bn globally, and is heavily invested in real estate.

Shares in Great Portland Estates were down 0.68pc in early trading on Friday, to 654.5p.

James Hammond, head of West End investment at CBRE, who advised Great Portland Estates, said the transaction "underlines the strength of appetite and commitment from overseas capital for London and UK real estate, and indeed London's position as a global technology hub".

- Daily Telegraph UK

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