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Korean asset management business buys Edinburgh office space for £55 million

9 West, an Edinburgh-based investment firm has introduced the funding for an off-market £55.2m deal for a South Korean asset management business to acquire commercial property in Scotland.

Robbie Moir from 9 West secured funding from Hyundai Asset Management Co. Ltd to purchase prime office space at Gyle Square, South Gyle Crescent, Edinburgh.

London-based Greenridge Investment Management sold the 148,796 square feet property to Hyundai Asset Management less than three years after acquiring it from Highland Properties, which had developed the offices on the site of the former BAE Systems factory.  The deal was concluded on behalf of Hyundai Asset Management by property agents 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.

South Gyle is one of Scotland's top five business districts and also home to JP Morgan, Royal Bank of Scotland and Tesco Bank

Moir, whose new business 9 West was instrumental in striking the deal, 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." 

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."

9 West, Moir's new venture, launched earlier this year, aims to "introduce capital to investment opportunities utilising key relationships with investors around the world". south Moir has 20 years of experience in financial services, including 12 years of global infrastructure investing. He has worked in London, New York and the Middle East.

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 per cent 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 Friday 5 April.

With South Korean investment firms stepping up global real estate investments, they 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.

Ashleigh Smith
Article by Ashleigh Smith
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