Investate plans $750m London waterfront project
Manama, June 29, 2008
Leading property investment company Investate Realty is planning a $750 million development on the south bank of Thames river in London.
Investate Realty, one of the fastest growing real estate investment companies in the Gulf, along with its shareholders has bought a 4.5 acre waterfront site known as Tideway Industrial Estate.
The site occupies an enviable position in central London, the highly desirable neighbourhood of Chelsea across the river.
The property is one of the last prime waterfront locations available for redevelopment in London and generated a strong competitive interest from most of the leading UK developers.
It has been purchased from a pension fund at a time when the subprime crisis has seen commercial property prices in London slump by around 25 per cent.
"I am immensely proud that Investate has successfully completed an acquisition of this significance in the highly competitive London market at such an early stage in Investate's history," chief executive officer Salah Nooruddin said at a press conference at Ritz-Carlton Bahrain, Hotel and Spa.
"Investate assisted by leading professional advisers and consultants, acted to out manoeuvre other potential purchasers to secure this exceptional site.
"I am also delighted with the strong support from Investate's shareholders, a group of whom co-invested on this acquisition, namely The First Investor from Qatar, Rashed Al Rashed and Sons Group from Saudi Arabia and Omniyat Holdings from UAE.
"Having these respected organisations partner with Investate on this transaction underscores the strength of our shareholder base and interest in this property."
Tideway Wharf, as the site will be known, enjoys an outstanding riverside location adjacent to Chelsea Bridge," Nooruddin said.
"The site is ideally positioned to benefit from London's proposed regeneration plans and both current as well as future developments in the neighbouring area.
"These include Chelsea Bridge Wharf, Foster and Partners' Albion Riverside and St George Wharf. Future developments such as the adjacent Battersea Power Station site, currently being master planned by Uruguayan master architect Rafael Vinoly and the nearby Chelsea Barracks, recently purchased by Qatari investors for a large-scale redevelopment, will ensure significant value enhancement for this project and the entire surrounding area."
"Investate along with leading regional developer Omniyat Properties will be engaging prestigious international architects and consultants to carry out an estimated $750m residential development on the site, transforming it into one of the premium addresses in London. We look forward to making further exciting announcements on this and other projects in the near future."
He said the company expected a return on its investment of around 120 per cent over four years and that the development would be marketed globally, from Moscow to Dubai.
Investate Realty was established last year with a paid-up capital of $108 million and an authorised capital of $500 million.
It offers investment opportunities in real estate development, income producing assets, private equity and corporate finance.
Sharia-compliant in outlook, Investate gains immensely from the strength and experience of its strategic partners, shareholders and investors spread across the region.
The Bahrain-based firm's shareholders include Omniyat Holdings (Dubai), Almasa Holdings (Dubai), Kuwait Investment Company (Kuwait), The First Investor (Qatar), Al Rashed Group (Saudi Arabia) and Al Hokair Group (Saudi Arabia) among others.
Last year, Investate's financial results showed a net profit of $11.1 and an annualised return on equity of 60 per cent representing a record performance after only two months of effective operation.
In less than eight months of operation, Investate has undertake