The Docklands office rental is currently let to a blue-chip tenant Morgan Stanley investment bank, however the vendors were forced to sell after they entered into administration. CWG had retained the freehold of the site and has now taken the opportunity to buy back the long lease on the building.
Located close to the River Thames, 15 Westferry Circus is within the shadow of the iconic One Canada Square skyscraper. The 10 storey Docklands office building was commissioned by CWG. Terry Farrell & Partners and SOM architects were appointed to design the building to the bespoke requirements of the original tenant Morgan Stanley Dean Witter. Morgan Stanley's lease has a further 23 years left until it expires in August 2036, but as the banks London office space requirements have changed, it has sought to sublet space within the E14 office rental.
Westferry Circus was completed in 2001 and CWG subsequently sold off the 175,000 sq ft asset on a 999 year lease. Later in March 2005, Vico Capital investment company acquired the property for £134.75m using a special purpose vehicle named Hibernia (2005) Limited. However, when the Dublin owners got into trouble Vico’s funding structure began to unravel.
With ownership now split between two SPVs (Gort Ltd and Hibernia (2005) Ltd), the transaction involved a complex deal, structured by MetLife, an existing lender. MetLife insurance company has provided CWG with a fresh whole loan of more than £126m towards the £128m total purchase price. With CWG’s strong asset base and a secure rental income from a public sector sub-tenant, the US lender calculated that extending credit at this extraordinarily high loan-to-value ratio was the most appropriate solution to the protracted administration process.