Frozen Aberdeen Fund Said to Offer $136 Million London Officeby
Aberdeen Asset Management Plc appointed broker Strutt & Parker LLP to sell a London office property that’s part of a U.K. real estate fund currently suspended from trading, according to three people familiar with the matter.
The asset manager will offer 10 Hammersmith Grove, an office building valued at about 105 million pounds ($136 million), the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private. The firm’s U.K. Property Fund has about 3.2 billion pounds of assets.
The managers of seven funds with about 18 billion pounds of property suspended trading last week as investors rushed to redeem their holdings on fears that the vote to leave the EU would cause property prices to fall. As much as 5 billion pounds of real estate could be sold to meet the requests for withdrawals, Jefferies LLC analyst Mike Prew wrote in a note last week.
“The fund is now seeking to rebuild its liquidity position,” said Gerry Ferguson, head of U.K. property pooled funds at Aberdeen. “A limited number of properties are being marketed and we will seek the highest prices achievable for our investors as is our normal practice.” Ferguson didn’t comment on the planned sale of the Hammersmith property.
Aberdeen cut the price of its fund by 17 percent and temporarily froze withdrawals on July 6 to give investors who had asked for their money back additional time to reconsider. The asset manager on Monday extended the freeze for a further two days citing “exceptional circumstances.”
The office building, in the Hammersmith district in West London, was completed in 2014 and is leased to tenants including media group Fox International Channels (U.K.) Ltd., and tobacco company Philip Morris Ltd.