The Pension Protection Fund has sold the 350,000 sq ft One Hardman Boulevard to the banking giant. The deal is the UK’s largest property transaction outside London this year and one of Manchester’s largest ever single-asset sales.
NatWest, which occupies the building, has acquired the Spinningfields asset for £292m, slightly below the £300m asking price.
CBRE was appointed to market the opportunity earlier this year but the property sold in an off-market deal, Place North West understands.
Barry Kenneth, chief investment officer at The Pension Protection Fund, said: “Our investment in One Hardman Boulevard has been incredibly important to us. We are constantly looking to deliver the best returns for our members and this particular investment has been a key part of our real asset strategy.”
The PPF’s investment manager M&G Real Estate bought the building from EY for £320m in 2014. EY was acting as administrator for Matrix Securities, which previously owned the buildings.
“By exiting at this stage, we’re realising attractive valuation alongside the returns that we have earned during the holding period,” Kenneth added.
“The time left until the lease expires also meant that the asset was becoming a less effective contributor to our liability hedging strategy. Our investment strategy is fundamental to securing strong returns for our scheme members and this particular asset has done just that. It’s exciting to see the returns produced from this innovative part of our strategy.”
NatWest declined to comment.