£130m deal in pipeline
Standard Life Aberdeen ‘in talks’ to sell Edinburgh HQ
The Princess Royal opened the building last year (pic: Terry Murden)
Standard Life Aberdeen is said to be in talks to sell its new headquarters in Edinburgh in a deal thought to be in the region of £130 million.
The Standard Life Pooled Pension Property Fund is reported to have held discussions with a number of parties keen to snap up the building in St Andrew Square.
The property was developed by the fund in partnership with Peveril Securities and was opened last year by the Princess Royal.
David Stewart, who runs the fund, is reported by Property Week to be in off-market discussions with a German fund and a Korean fund.
The building replaced a derelict block, including the former 1960s-built head office of Scottish Provident, at the south-east corner of the square and was the biggest office pre-let in Edinburgh for a decade. Standard Life signed a 15-year lease at a rent of around £3.2m a year ahead of its merger with Aberdeen Asset Management last year, and it now houses 1,000 staff, including Aberdeen Standard Investments employees.
The block includes 100,000 sq ft of offices, The Ivy on the Square and a number of other restaurants, earning it the title of Edinburgh’s ‘cuisine quarter’. There are also five apartments.
The fund itself has underperformed and fell from £3.15bn in September 2018 to £2.96bn at the end of December. It is also looking to sell other large assets including two shopping centres. At the end of last year, it put the County Mall Shopping Centre in Crawley and the Atrium Shopping Centre in Camberley on the market with price tags of £110m and £45m respectively. It is also looking to sell the City of London office building 100 Cheapside for around £136m.
Savills is advising Standard Life Pooled Pension Property Fund.