PHAEGA New skyscraper One Blackfriars Bridge and Kings Reach Tower on the Southern skyline of the River Thames and ships in London, England, United Kingdom.
© Alamy

Starwood Capital has agreed to buy the landmark Southbank Central development close to the Thames for more than £250m, according to two people briefed on the situation.

It is the latest in a string of UK property purchases this year by the US private equity firm, which specialises in alternative investments including real estate.

Starwood also acquired a portfolio of seven Hilton hotels in the UK in February. In June, it announced a deal alongside the Australian group Lendlease to buy the Silvertown Partnership, which holds development rights to a 50-acre east London site.

Starwood exchanged contracts last week with vendors Hermes Investment Management and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board to buy Southbank Central, a recently redeveloped site previously known as South Bank Tower and before that King’s Reach Tower.

Hermes declined to comment, while Starwood did not respond to a request for comment.

The tower element of the scheme, designed by Richard Seifert — who also designed the London landmarks Tower 42 and Centre Point — was depicted as home to the “alien editor” Tharg in the 1970s British comic 2000AD, according to a website created by the developers. It was formerly the headquarters of IPC Media, which published the comic.

The development is now home to a branch of the shared office group WeWork, along with additional office space, apartments, and retail and leisure units.

The property was sold at a 5.5 per cent yield, according to one person briefed on the deal. The price, while above £250m, came in below the £280m asking price.

The south bank of the Thames has become an increasingly popular destination for offices and homes, leading property investors to pile into the area.

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