South Korean investor snaps up Edinburgh offices for £55m

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A large Edinburgh office building housing an NHS body has been snapped up by a South Korean asset management business in a £55 million-plus deal.

Edinburgh-based investment firm 9 West secured funding from Hyundai Asset Management to purchase the office space at Gyle Square, South Gyle Crescent in the capital. London-based Greenridge Investment Management has sold the 148,796 square feet property to Hyundai for £55.2m in an off-market deal less than three years after acquiring it from Highland Properties. Highland had developed the offices on the site of a former BAE Systems factory.

The latest deal was concluded on behalf of Hyundai Asset Management by property agent Ereira Mendoza.

Gyle Square is leased to NHS National Services Scotland, which provides shared services to the NHS and other public bodies across the country. It has fully occupied the property since it was constructed in 2003, under a lease until June 2029.

Robbie Moir of 9 West said the investment firm was instrumental in striking the deal.

“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,” he said. “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.”

The 9 West venture launched earlier this year and aims to “introduce capital to investment opportunities utilising key relationships with investors around the world”.

Moir has 20 years of experience in financial services, including 12 years’ global infrastructure investing. He has worked in London, New York and the Middle East.

Hyundai Asset Management rolled out its first public property 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.

The asset management business borrowed £35.9m, 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.