SIG Prop fund buys offices

Skandia Investment Group’s Property fund has made a £13.37m acquisition of two office buildings occupied by Premier Foods near St Albans in the UK.

The £458m (€519.5m) fund, managed by sub-adviser Nigel Pickup of ING Real Estate Investment Management, has invested some £68m (€77.1m) in commercial property in the past 12 months. It is a direct UK property fund looking for both capital appreciation and income. The St Albans-located deal provides annual rental of about £1m (€1.1m), or £22.7 (€25.8) per square foot.

Skandia Investment Group portfolio manager, Ryan Hughes said: “Commercial property remains a popular sector among income-seeking investors. As one of the most experienced and well-respected property managers in the industry, Nigel is well placed to take advantage of the continued value that is to be found in certain areas of the commercial property market. With cash reserves at his disposal, Nigel is able to exploit these opportunities on behalf of investors.

Nigel Pickup said: “The start of 2011 continues to see investors attracted to the Skandia Property Fund which has provided us with the opportunity acquire this asset as part of a strategy to deliver an attractive income return with the potential for further gains as a recovery in selected occupational markets across the UK takes hold in the coming years. These modern buildings, fully occupied as the head office of one of the UK’s leading food manufacturers, meet these objectives and make an attractive addition to the portfolio.”

“This property is located in a market that is characterised by a shortage of prime office stock and which has begun to experience signs of renewed occupier demand. St Albans has historically performed comparatively strongly against other south-east towns given the amenities available along with good access links by road and rail. The acquisition forms part of a continuing investment strategy to enhance the exposure to those markets benefitting from recovery and ensure that the Fund’s portfolio remains focused upon continuing to deliver performance in the years ahead.”

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