LONDON-New York-based asset manager Westbrook Partners has joined forces with private clients of Jones Lang LaSalle to buy a portfolio of 20 properties in a £365 million ($520 million) off-market transaction. And more is to come: the partnership has earmarked £865 million ($1.25 billion) for UK purchases in total.

The mixed portfolio consisted of 20 properties, nine of which are central London offices in the City, West End, Midtown, Euston and Southwark. The new fund intends to focus on asset enhancement opportunities, and a number of the office buildings are candidates for refurbishment. Jones Lang LaSalle advised on the purchases and will be responsible for active management of the properties.

Underpinning the asset enhancement opportunities is a secure income stream, with more than two-thirds of the income stream secured for more than 15 years. The acquisition has been financed by Lehman Brothers and the German bank HVB.

Mark Morris, Head of Private Client Real Estate at Jones Lang LaSalle said: ‘The portfolio provides outstanding characteristics of both long term well secured income and excellent opportunities to refurbish, develop and improve many of the properties. We have got a further £500 million ($710 million) to spend immediately and we are actively seeking investment opportunities as we speak.’

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