Capital & Counties takes control of Earls Court office skyscraper

Kasmira Jefford
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CAPITAL and Counties (Capco), the developer behind the £8bn regeneration of Earls Court, has added another building to its vast estate after taking full ownership of the Empress State Building.

The developer said yesterday it has acquired the remaining 50 per cent stake it does not already own in the 1960s office block from Land Securities for £117m.

It has also taken on Land Securities’ share of the £131m debt facility, which matures in August.

The 31 storey skyscraper, which is the tallest building in the borough of Fulham and Hammersmith, is let to the Metropolitan Police Authority, who refer to it as ESB – also the name of the local beer, Fuller’s ESB. It is let to the Metropolitan Police until 2019 at a passing rent of £14.9m.

Gary Yardley, Capco’s investment director, said: “The Empress State Building provides an attractive income stream until 2019 whilst offering a number of options to create further value over the medium-term as the area benefits from the implementation of the Earls Court Masterplan.”

Land Securities said yesterday that the sale fitted in with its strategy of recycling capital through disposals.