Canadians Make White City Splash

Pension fund emerge as one of two backers for 200 million pound bid

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A Canadian pension fund has emerged as one of two backers in Stanhope’s £200m purchase of BBC Television Centre, which completed today.

Existing Stanhope backer Mitsui Fudosan UK and the Alberta Investment Management Corporation were today revealed as the backers for the deal, for a “guaranteed consideration” of £200m, plus a share in future profits going to the BBC.
As part of the deal, BBC Studios and Post Production and BBC Worldwide will both become anchor tenants on the site from 2014-15, involving the relocation of hundreds of staff from the Media Village to the north of Television Centre.

The BBC said today that it would work together on initial planning and development with Stanhope, which has appointed fashionable architects Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, who were responsible for Derwent London’s Angel Building.

The sale follows a year-long selection process. The BBC said that 240 expressions of interest had been whittled down to 6 short-listed bids, which were tested against three key objectives – maximising the value of the site for licence fee payers; protecting the legacy of this iconic building; and choosing a buyer that could deliver.

Stanhope has acquired a long leasehold interest in the 1.4m sq ft campus, which contains the iconic listed “donut”, where BBC production units will relocate. The BBC wants BBC Studios and Post Production and BBC Worldwide to lease refurbished office and entertainment space in the completed scheme from 2014-15. They will be amongst the first parts to “go-live” at the site.

BBC Worldwide will move from its current base in the W12 Media Village to become anchor tenants on the site and will be located at the front of the building overlooking Wood Lane. BBC Worldwide is in the process of appointing its architects.

BBC chief operating officer Caroline Thomson who oversaw the sale said: “This is an exciting deal both for the BBC and for London. Working with Stanhope we will build a new creative hub in west London. It marks a critical step in the transformation of the BBC’s property portfolio and the delivery of great value to Licence Fee payers.”

July 20, 2012