BE Offices completes £50m sale and leaseback

The Wembley office is located on Olympic Way, adjacent to Wembley Park underground station. The freehold on the 105,000sq ft net office block was originally acquired by BE in 1998. Currently, only 20,000 sq ft of the building is used as a serviced office centre with the remaining space let on a variety of leases. BE has taken a short-term lease on the building expiring in September 2018, and will use the time to find suitable space in Wembley for a new centre as demand for serviced offices in the area continues to be strong. The disposal generated £35.5m. The centre at No 1 Royal Exchange Avenue in the City, which BE acquired in 2004, comprises a grade II listed, 13,000 sq ft office building over six floors. BE has completed a £14m sale and leaseback on the property, and taken a 15-year lease. West End & Canary Wharf presence The funds generated will be used to reduce debt, acquire further central London centres and continue to expand the portfolio. This follows BE’s acquisition of four new centres for £9m in July 2016 which took its total to 17 and gave the company a presence in the West End and Canary Wharf for the first time. David Saul, BE’s managing director, said: “We have taken the opportunity to release a substantial amount of cash that will be reinvested in taking the business to its next level. Maintain our presence in this vibrant business community - David Saul, BE “Having successfully integrated the four centres we acquired last summer we feel the company is ready to expand further, especially within the Central London market where demand for flexible office space is very strong. “In the meantime, clients at Wembley will continue to receive the high level of service that they have become accustomed to as we look for an alternative building, up to 25,000 sq ft, that will enable us to maintain our presence in this vibrant business community.” Over the past two years BE has been rebalancing its portfolio, raising £67.2m from four sale and leasebacks, including its Threadneedle Street centre where a £2m refurbishment programme has just been completed. In its annual results in October the company reported annualised income running at £36m.