Leonardo’s £100m Edinburgh HQ sold to Korean buyer

Italian aerospace and defence firm Leonardo’s research and development hub at Crewe Toll in Edinburgh has been sold by Brockton Capital to unnamed South Korean investor clients of Knight Frank Investment Management for £100 million, according to reports.

The Leonardo Innovation Hub includes more than 439,000 sq ft of office, laboratory and industrial space.

JLL and Eastdil Secured represented Brockton Capital on the sale while Knight Frank and CMS advised the buyer. 

Leonardo’s Edinburgh site employs 1,800 staff who specialise in the provision of surveillance radars and countermeasure systems.

Leonardo recently signed a 15-year lease at the Hub.

Originally built in 1943, the site today produces technology including lasers for the US Army’s Apache helicopter, CAPTOR radar for the Typhoon, the Osprey radar for Norway’s all-weather search and rescue helicopters (NAWSARH), the Seaspray Radar for the US Coast Guard, and the Raven radar for Saab’s Gripen Fighter aircraft.

In partnership with Northrop Grumman, the Edinburgh site has also produced some of the most sophisticated laser infrared countermeasures (IRCM) capability in the world.

Max Bassadone, director at Brockton, said: “Following the acquisition of Crewe Toll East & West in 2014, we have been working with Leonardo to restructure their lease, ensuring their 75-year history with the site continues.

“The successful restructure advised by JLL fulfilled our asset management plan and we are delighted to now complete the off-market sale with the site’s new owner.”

David Johnson, partner at Knight Frank Investment Management, said: “We are very pleased to have completed this important acquisition for our client. 

“Crewe Toll offers secure income at an attractive rental level with strong future performance prospects.

“We continue to seek similar off-market opportunities in the UK and Europe.”