LONDON-Two funds managed by JP Morgan Asset Management havepurchased the holding company that owns the 774,000-square-footBishops Square office building for $870 million. The holding firmhad been owned by a joint venture of Hammerson plc and OmanInvestment Fund, an arm of Omani Government Investment.

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The building was completed in 2005, developed by a joint ventureof Hammerson and the city of London. Law firm Allen & Overy LLPleases the entire office portion, and there’s also about 50,000square feet of retail. The building is in the city’s financialdistrict.

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Hammerson bought out the city in 2007, and then sold 75% of theholding company to Omani in June 2009. The locally-based Hammersonsays it expects to gain about $124 million from the sale. “Thisdisposal fits with our strategy of creating value through portfoliomanagement,” said David Atkins, CEO, in a statement. “We arecapitalizing on the market recovery over the past 15 months.”

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Peter Reilly, head of JP Morgan’s European Real Estate Group,said the long-leased Bishops Square fits the company’s acquisitioncriteria perfectly. “We remain bullish on investing in highquality, well-tenanted office properties located throughoutEurope’s most important cities, and this acquisition represents afurther expansion of our funds’ core property portfolio inEurope.”

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Hammerson and Omani were advised by Clifford Chance and JonesLang LaSalle. Berwin Leighton Paisner and Deloitte represented thebuyer in the transaction.

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