LONDON-Lend Lease Global Properties, a $950 million Luxembourg-based real estate fund, has emerged as the successful bidder for Akeler Holdings, the European business parks developer owned by Security Capital European Realty in a £294 million ($450 million) deal.

The majority of Akeler’s assets are in the UK, with major business parks in the Thames Valley, Leeds and Glasgow. Recently the Worldcom collapse has taken some of the gloss off the portfolio as one of the company’s prime assets is the Worldcom European headquarters at Reading, Berkshire.

But Lend Lease Global Properties’ Chairman James Quille said: “The UK office investment market is currently mis-priced, trading at a discount due to a current oversupply of office space created by the general economic conditions. Unlike previous cycles this discount has not been created by excessive speculative development. We are of the opinion that the Thames Valley office market will quickly recover with improving economic conditions given the current lack of new office developments underway.”

The company is also active in mainland Europe. In Portugal, Akeler is completing the last phases of its Quinta da Fonte Business Park in Lisbon. Earlier phases have been sold to foreign institutions with Akeler retaining the management of the entire park. The company also owns two development sites in Frankfurt and Munich, Germany.

Quille said: “Akeler is an excellent acquisition for Lend Lease Global Properties. The quality of Akeler’s platform, portfolio and management make this an exciting opportunity for Lend Lease Global Properties’ opportunistic investment style.”

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