Murray Capital set to sell Edinburgh office in £54m deal

Sir David Murray’s family investment vehicle is on the verge of selling a prestigious Edinburgh office building for close to £54 million.

The deal sees Murray conclude 13 years of ownership. Picture Neil Hanna.

Murray Capital Group, the investment office for the family of entrepreneur and ex-Rangers Football Club owner and chairman David Murray, is poised to complete the sale of Exchange Plaza to M&G Real Estate, according to property trade publication React News.

Commercial property firm JLL was appointed to market the 100,000-square-foot and six-storey site, located in the Scottish capital’s financial district, using a guide price of £54m – and the deal is understood to be close to that level.

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Occupiers of the office-led property include oil and gas explorer Cairn Energy, whose headquarters are based at the site, and legal heavyweight Burness Paull, which almost doubled its footprint in the building in December.

Its ground floor houses craft beer company BrewDog and the All Bar One restaurant group.

The deal represents an initial yield of around 5.3 per cent and will see Murray conclude 13 years of ownership, after adding the asset to its portfolio for £53m in 2006.

JLL is representing Murray Capital, while Savills is advising the purchaser.

M&G, which has around £33 billion in funds under management, made the purchase on behalf of an overseas fund rather than one of its retail funds, market sources were quoted as saying.

The deal is seen as highlighting the strength of demand for office assets in Edinburgh city centre, with a limited pipeline of development and redevelopments heightening competition in the sector that has seen influx of foreign investment.

This includes one of Germany’s largest pension funds purchasing 4-8 St Andrew Square for £120m in May.

Last year, M&G acquired the four-acre mixed-use development site The Haymarket for £49.1m, with plans now progressing for an office-led scheme totalling 380,000 sq ft.

In Glasgow, the investor owns 1 West Regent Street and has plans to build out a 200,000 sq ft office known as The Grid, while it also has a sizeable ground rent portfolio around Aberdeen.

Edinburgh-headquartered Murray Capital, which operates across industries including metals, real estate, wine importing and information technology services, was divested to the businessman’s family from Murray International Holdings in 2010.

Murray, one of Scotland’s best-known entrepreneurs, sits as chairman of the group.

He launched his first enterprise, Murray International Metals, in 1974 as a steel trading business. The venture grew to boast a turnover of £200m a year before it was sold in 2005 for £115m.

He famously also served as chairman and owner of Glasgow Rangers Football Club for more than two decades.

All parties declined to comment.