Growing interest from Asia
Korean investor swoops on Edinburgh with £55m deal
Now in Korean ownership: the Gyle offices
An Asian investor has swooped on Edinburgh’s commercial property market, paying £55.2 million for a near-150,000 sq ft suite of offices at the Gyle.
A South Korean asset management business has acquired the premises in Gyle Square – on the site of the former BAE Systems factory – with support from 9 West, an Edinburgh-based investment firm. It secured funding from Hyundai Asset Management.
The deal, which is seen as indicative of growing interest from the region in Scottish assets, was concluded on behalf of Hyundai Asset Management by property agent Ereira Mendoza.
Gyle Square is leased to NHS National Services Scotland, which provides shared services to the NHS and other public bodies across Scotland. It has fully occupied the property since it was constructed in 2003, under a lease until June 2029.
Robbie Moir, owner of 9 West, said: “This is a major overseas investment in Edinburgh, which reflects very positively on the level of global interest in the commercial property sector in Scotland. This sends out a strong signal that Scotland is on the radar of Asian investors if the right kind of property is available.”
Mr Moir, who has also raised significant capital for infrastructure investments in the UK, added: “South Korean investment firms in particular are stepping up global real asset investments targeting real estate and infrastructure opportunities.”
Hyundai Asset Management rolled out its first public real estate fund and raised money from individual investors in South Korea to support the acquisition of Gyle Square. The fund has a term of three and a half years and will be listed on the Korea Stock Exchange.
Hyundai Asset Management borrowed £35.9 million, 65% of the Gyle Square acquisition price, in a three-year secured loan from UK-based lenders, according to details published on the deal – which closed on 5 April.
South Korean investment firms are stepping up global real estate investments and are increasingly tapping retail investors to fund the deals. The combined net asset value of Korean public property funds for both domestic and overseas investment is 2.5 trillion won (£1.66 trillion), according to recent figures from the Korea Financial Investment Association, up 19% from a year earlier.