Minerva, the property investment and development group acquired by clients of Ares Management LLC and Delancey in 2011, has exchanged contracts to sell its Ram Brewery development site in Wandsworth, London, to Greenland Group (‘Greenland’), the Chinese state owned developer. The transaction with total investment value of circa £600 million represents Greenland’s first acquisition in the UK.
The historic Ram Brewery was originally acquired by Minerva in 2006 for redevelopment. The 7.75 acre Ram Brewery development is being sold with outline planning permission for 661 new homes, including a 36 storey landmark tower providing 166 flats and 9,500 sqm of commercial space for new shops, cafes, bars and restaurants, complementing the site’s historic buildings which formed the original Young’s brewery.
Greenland is one of the biggest developers in the world with circa 600 million sqft of large-scale commercial and residential projects currently under construction in 80 cities throughout China as well as real estate projects in Jeju in South Korea, Pattaya in Thailand, Sydney and Melbourne in Australia and New York and Los Angeles in the USA.
Alistair Meadows, Head of International Capital Group, Asia Pacific, Jones Lang LaSalle commented: “Greenland’s first acquisition in London is a strong example that 2014 has started as 2013 left off with increasing investment by Chinese groups in the global real estate market, especially the UK, US and Australia. There is now real momentum behind the export of Chinese capital and we are seeing buyers that range from Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWFs) to Insurance Companies to Developers and Private Investors. By the end of 2013, Chinese buyers had invested over USD 10 billion into off-shore commercial investment properties plus residential led development sites similar to this Greenland acquisition. This translated into an increase of over 30% on outbound investment from China in 2013 compared to 2012. We believe this growth marks the start of a long term structural shift as Chinese investors seek to diversify their capital into the international real estate markets.”
Guy Grainger, UK CEO Jones Lang LaSalle added: “We are very pleased to have been able to align Minerva with Greenland in what is a landmark transaction for the London residential market and a exceptional result for Wandsworth town centre. This deal emphasizes the strong relationships currently being created between the UK and China and further highlights London as the number one destination for global capital, both of which we see as assuring the delivery of this important regeneration project.”