German open-ended fund manager Commerz Real has bought Scottish Widows’ Athene Place in London’s midtown for £98m (€124m) in its first UK transaction in several years.

In a statement today it said its Hausinvest Europa fund would hold the 148,700 sq ft building which is fully let to tax consultants Deloitte MCS until 2027. The deal is thought to reflect a yield of around 5.7%.

UK's 'interesting investment market'
‘The UK has once again developed into an interesting investment market for us,’ said Hans-Joachim Kühl, member of the board of Commerz Real who is in charge of real estate acquisitions. ‘Our most recent investment in the closed-end fund sector was the Lloyds Building in London in 2005. The last commitment on behalf of hausInvest europa was the acquisition of the Westfield shopping centre in 2004, which was followed by a relatively long period of high price levels and low purchase yields. During this phase we were exclusively active on the selling end.

Market conditions 'returning to normal'
‘Now, though, market conditions are gradually returning to normal, and we are once again looking at attractive investment opportunities. We are convinced that London will remain one of the most important markets in Europe.’

Commerz Real, which has more than €44bn (£35bn) of assets under management is also said to be under offer to buy 180 Portland Place in London’s West End for £80m.

BH2 acts for Scottish Widows; Savills advised Commerz Real.