Warner hopes to raise £35m from Manchester office disposals

Warner Estate is seeking buyers for two office buildings totalling nearly 100,000 sq ft in central Manchester.

Bids in the region of £20m are invited for the 55,000 sq ft Norfolk House on Norfolk Street, where tenants include the Department for Health, insurer Zurich and Lloyds TSB.

The 40,000 sq ft 81 Fountain Street could fetch up to £15m. BUPA leases all of 81 Fountain Street but more than half is sublet to GVA Grimley. Agents are already speculating that GVA Grimley may buy the building for itself.

Warner holds both buildings in its Apia fund, which is a joint venture with Morley Fund Management. Warner recently announced a £123.5m annual loss and is among fund managers attempting to recoup cash in the current difficult market.

Cash-rich North West players such as Bruntwood are frontrunners to snap up such discounted assets. Prime yields in central Manchester have moved out from 5% to 6% in the past 12 months.

DTZ advises Warner.

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