Korean investor buys City trophy with German debt

Pinsent Masons HQ is Samsung SRA’s first overseas investment

30 Crown Place: bought by Korean Samsung SRA
30 Crown Place: bought by Korean Samsung SRA

Korean investor Samsung SRA Asset Management has made its first overseas investment financed with debt from two German banks.

Samsung SRA bought 30 Crown Place, London EC2, for £142m, at a yield of just under 5%, advised by Cushman & Wakefield Investors.

The purchase was funded by Deutsche Hypo and Deutsche Postbank which had financed the building’s previous owner, Hannover Leasing Trust.

Samsung SRA is a real estate fund manager and whollyowned subsidiary of Samsung Life Insurance which co-invests in SRA’s funds.

The relationship with Cushman & Wakefield Investors is an advisory rather than a discretionary one. It was formed over 18 months after CWI began working in partnership with Cushman & Wakefield’s Korean office “specifically to develop relationships with Korean capital” said CWI’s European chief executive, David Rendall.

Samsung Asset Management manages several different funds and is also tipped to buy 30 Gresham Street, this time advised by Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management. The 192,000 sq ft 30 Crown Place is the headquarters of Pinsent Masons and is let to the law firm until 2030.

Hannover Leasing sold the building after owning it for less than 18 months. It buys investments and sells them on into German closed-ended funds. However, one source said: “German closed-ended fund distribution has dried up for the time being and they may have felt they had to sell.”

Rockspring Property Investment Managers, which has advised the National Pension Service of Korea (NPS) on European acquisitions, is opening an office in Seoul, South Korea.