SWIP buys 101 Barbirolli

Scottish Widows Investment Properties has acquired the office building 101 Barbirolli Square next to the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester for nearly £30m.

The fully let 84,000 sq ft building was sold by Hermes for £29.975m, at an initial yield of 6.76%. It is the second office asset to trade at around 7% in recent weeks in the city, proving the prime Manchester market's resilience. Henderson Global Investors paid around £24m for the Zenith building, Spring Gardens, although unlike 101 Barbirolli the Zenith building is 40% vacant.

Hermes acquired 101 Barbirolli in 2006. The building is occupied by law firm DLA and financial advisor PwC, both on leases until 2017.

Jones Lang LaSalle advised SWIP. WHR advised Hermes. Jonathan Mills, director in Jones Lang LaSalle's national investment team, said: "This is the first office investment acquisition in Manchester by SWIPPT and comprises the northern headquarters for two high profile occupiers in PWC and DLA Piper. Due to the high specification of the building and the current market fundamentals in terms of future supply, we believe this provides strong growth prospects."

Mark Williams, partner at WHR, said: "This deal is set to be one of the most high profile deals in the North West this year and we were delighted to have acted for the Hermes Property Unit Trust in this transaction."

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