The acquisition of East India Dock is the fourth in a string of Docklands transactions for Capital & Income Trust (CIT), which started with the acquisition of South Quay II from the receivers of Baxendale in 1999. Last year, CIT bought Wyndham House in South Quay Plaza and 3 Harbour Exchange. Macfarlanes property partner Chris Field has led teams for all four transactions.
As the Docklands office market suddenly takes off, those investments are now looking more impressive than ever. CIT sees them as attractive properties to asset manage because they are multi-let and therefore offer tremendous potential to improve returns. Tenants at East India Dock include Marsh & McLennan, Guardian Disaster Recovery and US investment broker Donaldson Luftkin Jenrette.
The East India Dock purchase was undertaken through a limited partnership structure which CIT adopted in order to broaden its investor base. Macfarlanes corporate tax partner Mark Baldwin dealt with the tax ramifications.
The latest deal places CIT second only to Canary Wharf in terms of the Docklands office space it owns. Although Macfarlanes does not have an exclusive relationship with CIT, the deal is the fifth major transaction it has handled for it in the past 12 months. Field is advising CIT on London Bridge City, where the London Mayor and GLA will be headquartered.