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Pensions

Railpen’s £95 million Birmingham property deal

Railpen’s £95 million Birmingham property deal

Mona Dohle
Tuesday 24th July 2018

RPMI Railpen, the investment manager of railway pension scheme, has bought two buildings in Birmingham in what is its largest office investment this year.

The £95m deal with property developer Nurton Developments involves 2 Colmore Square and Cannon House, which are in Birmingham city centre and are currently occupied, among others, by Shoosmiths, Jacobs UK, Energy Systems Catapult, the Secretary of State and Handelsbanken.

With 95% of the 300,000 square foot buildings let at an average rent of £21.50 per square foot, Railpen targets an annual yield of 6.4%.

Anna Rule (pictured), head of property at Railpen, said: “The building’s proximity to the new HS2 Curzon Street station, the low rents and the asset management opportunities that exist provide long-term opportunities for growth.

“This purchase meets all of our core investment themes and will help to meet our mission to pay members’ pensions securely, affordably and sustainably,” she adds.

Commercial property investments have been a popular theme among local authority pension funds, with schemes such as Lancashire and Southwark recently stepping up their exposure to bricks and mortar.

The latest acquisition will help move Railpen closer to fulfiling its 15% investment target to the asset class. As of April this year, Railpen had £2bn, or 12% of its assets, tied up in property.

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