Aberdeen Standard sells parent’s HQ to German fund

Aberdeen Standard Investments said it exchanged contracts to sell the central Edinburgh development that includes parent firm Standard Life Aberdeen’s HQ to German pension fund die Ärzteversorgung Westfalen-Lippe (ÄVWL). 

The office, restaurant and retail block at 4-8 St Andrew Square was developed by Aberdeen Standard Investments (ASI) with Peveril Securities.

The joint venture development was originally completed in 2016 on behalf of the Standard Life Pooled Property Pension Fund, and Standard Life Aberdeen became a tenant.

Prior to the sale, the fund agreed a lease variation with Standard Life Aberdeen for 20 years.

The HQ was never part of Standard Life Aberdeen’s corporate estate.

The sale represents the biggest mixed use investment deal in Scotland since the St James Centre in October 2016.

Aberdeen Standard Investments fund manager David Stewart said: “The development and sale has been a resounding financial success for investors within the Standard Life Pooled Pension Property Fund.

“At the same time, we take great pride in having made a positive contribution to the local environment, developing a building that meets high levels of sustainability and breathing new life into a strategic part of the city.

“We have retained the period buildings forming 1-3 St Andrew Square as long term investments and remain confident in the future success of the area.”

Ralph Jones, Peveril Securities, added: “The sale marks the successful completion of the joint venture with ASI and the business plan for the development. 

“As one of the most important Scottish developments in recent years, the scheme led the renaissance of St Andrew Square and the surrounding area.”

The development is fully let on long-term leases. Further tenants include retail chain TK Maxx and restaurant and bar outlets including Vapiano, The Refinery, The Ivy, Wagamama and Gaucho.

The development has been acquired by KanAm Grund Group on behalf of ÄVWL. 

Savills acted on behalf of the joint venture and CBRE represented the buyer in the deal.

KanAm Grund Group will be in charge of the ongoing asset management.