Europa Capital has been selected as the preferred bidder for the Arlington Business Parks Partnership.
A price approaching £500m is understood to have been agreed, above the initial asking price of £475m. Goodman and Legal & General are the major investors in the ABPP fund, with Abu Dhabi Investment Authority also owning a stake.
Europa is expected to use equity provided by its major shareholder Mitsubishi Estate to make the acquisition alongside cash from its latest fund, Europa Fund V. The fund has a target equity raise of €750m, held a first close of €360m last April, and has a hard cap of €1bn.
The assets in the fund are not yet formally under offer with a vote by unit holders needed to formalise a deal. However, Europa has been selected ahead of Fortress Investment Group and Anglezark, which still officially remain in the process. Bids were also made by Ares, Greenoak, Tristan Capital Partners with XLB, Harbert and Legal & General itself.
The portfolio comprises six assets, the largest of which is the Hammersmith Embankment campus in west London. The other properties are Oxford Business Park; Gloucester Business Park; Uxbridge Business Park; Manchester Business Park and Arlington Square in Bracknell.
Europa is due to take on the staff that the fund employs to asset manage the portfolio should the deal complete, totalling around 25.
Cushman & Wakefield and Strutt & Parker are marketing the portfolio.