Kow's Queensgate Books Exec Offices

Property Week

Property Week: Hannah Brenton: 5 July 2013

Newcomer’s second deal is to buy serviced offices provider for £260m.

Jason Kow’s Queensgate Investments has struck a deal to buy serviced office provider Executive Offices Group for around £260m.

Queensgate Investment Fund I is understood to have beaten American fund manager Angelo Gordon and Crosstree Real Estate Partners in a joint venture with serviced offices provider Regus to secure the deal.

TPG, Blackstone and Bridgepoint are also understood to have bid for the prime London‑focused service office provider, which was put up for sale by Morgan Stanley Real Estate Funds.

Morgan Stanley’s Real Estate Fund V bought Executive Offices Group for £220m in 2005, so the sale will net a profit despite the difficult economy.

The purchase has previously been seen as one of Morgan Stanley’s better acquisitions from the boom years.

Opportunistic investment manager Queensgate is believed to have plans to keep current management in place and expand the company’s portfolio.

Executive Offices Group is run by Peter Kershaw, who founded it in 1996 with partner Peter Allport, as HQ Business Centres. It was renamed Executive Offices Group in 2003.

The company has 28 serviced office buildings, totalling around 500,000 sq ft across central London, including sites in Mayfair, Belgravia and the City.

Key offices include 23 Berkeley Square in Mayfair, 288 Bishopgate in the City and Central Court in Holborn.

Executive Offices also owns the premium serviced office brand Argyll Business Centres, which operates from 11 locations, among them 1 Cornhill in the City, 33 St James’s Square and 1 Grosvenor Crescent in Mayfair.

The portfolio has an occupancy rate of around 90% and average lease lengths are two and half to three years.

Newcomer’s second deal is to buy serviced offices provider for £260m.

Jason Kow’s Queensgate Investments has struck a deal to buy serviced office provider Executive Offices Group for around £260m.

Queensgate Investment Fund I is understood to have beaten American fund manager Angelo Gordon and Crosstree Real Estate Partners in a joint venture with serviced offices provider Regus to secure the deal.

TPG, Blackstone and Bridgepoint are also understood to have bid for the prime London‑focused service office provider, which was put up for sale by Morgan Stanley Real Estate Funds.

Morgan Stanley’s Real Estate Fund V bought Executive Offices Group for £220m in 2005, so the sale will net a profit despite the difficult economy.

The purchase has previously been seen as one of Morgan Stanley’s better acquisitions from the boom years.

Opportunistic investment manager Queensgate is believed to have plans to keep current management in place and expand the company’s portfolio.

Executive Offices Group is run by Peter Kershaw, who founded it in 1996 with partner Peter Allport, as HQ Business Centres. It was renamed Executive Offices Group in 2003.

The company has 28 serviced office buildings, totalling around 500,000 sq ft across central London, including sites in Mayfair, Belgravia and the City.

Key offices include 23 Berkeley Square in Mayfair, 288 Bishopgate in the City and Central Court in Holborn.

Executive Offices also owns the premium serviced office brand Argyll Business Centres, which operates from 11 locations, among them 1 Cornhill in the City, 33 St James’s Square and 1 Grosvenor Crescent in Mayfair.

The portfolio has an occupancy rate of around 90% and average lease lengths are two and half to three years.

It also occupies three sites outside London, in Amersham, Cambridge and Leeds. Unusually for a serviced office company, it owns the freeholds on around 10 of its centres, some of which are grade-I and II-listed London addresses and account for a significant part of the deal’s value.

Kow, who was named Young Property Personality of the Year at the Property Awards in April (pictured), launched Queensgate Investments in April 2012 in a strategic partnership with LJ Group and backed with £500m of equity.

Queensgate’s debut deal came in January, when the fund bought the long leasehold of a three hectare site on the River Thames from O2 owner AEG.

The site links directly into the O2 and Queensgate aims to develop a 452-bedroom luxury hotel, conference centre and residential scheme.

All parties declined to comment.

33 St James's Square