Newsquest Media Group
Why have a Plan B?
Cooke, Young & Keidan
Why due diligence is essential
Marketform / Neon
Why size matters
Why market research is key
Orsted (previously known as DONG Energy) is a renewable energy company headquartered in Denmark employing 5,600 people including over 900 in the UK. Its shares are listed on Nasdaq Copenhagen and in 2017 the group's revenue was DKK 59.5 bn (EUR 8.0 bn).
MWRE was tasked with developing a property strategy for DONG Energy which recognised that the business occupied some 50,000 sq ft under six leases in London from different landlords, all of which leases were due to expire within a short 2-3 year timeframe.
With headcount in London expected to grow significantly beyond existing lease expiry dates it was important to identify a new headquarters building that would be available to meet the businesses' future growth needs within the timescale identified. In addition any new building would also be required to meet various exacting technical, environmental and sustainability requirements in keeping with the businesses' corporate image and standards.
Against the backdrop of an increasingly tight London office market with low levels of supply and high levels of occupier demand, MWRE was successful in identifying and securing 81,000 sq ft Grade A offices in an award-winning building at 5 Howick Place, Victoria, SW1 for Orsted some 18 months ahead of lease expiry on highly competitive terms.
Pre-fitted office acquisition
20 Moorgate, EC2
Cazenove leased 100,000 sq ft close to the Bank of England in nine inter-connecting buildings that had been adapted to accommodate the ongoing needs of the business.
In order to reach objective decisions to include a clear strategy for timetabling and implementation, Nick advised Cazenove's partnership on:
the timetable in which the Partnership needed to decide whether to 'stay or go'
By agreeing to accept a certain level of risk and cost and electing to relocate in what was then a relatively depressed City office market, Cazenove was able to acquire a new purpose-built headquarters building with a bespoke specification in a prime City location on extremely competitive rental and lease terms.
Pre-fitted office acquisition
TATA Communications wished to relocate its London operations into 15-20,000 sq ft office premises situated in a more central location (than their existing Docklands offices) for the least cost possible (in terms of operational and capex costs).
A comprehensive market research exercise was undertaken by McCalmont-Woods leading to a shortlist of potential options being drawn up. Detailed cash-flows were then prepared on each building, leading to a preferred relocation option being selected with heads of terms agreed and Board approval obtained, all within four months from the date of appointment.
McCalmont-Woods successfully negotiated the acquisition of 18,700 sq ft offices for TATA Communications on a new sub-lease from Accenture at 20 Old Bailey, EC4 on extremely competitive terms. The premises identified benefited from a full office fit-out that included meeting rooms, comms room and kitchen facilities providing effective 'plug & play' offices with circa 160 desks and associated office furniture already in-situ and ready for immediate use.
30 St. Mary Axe, EC3
Abbey Offices was keen to expand its network of business centres across central London by opening a new prestigious facility located in the City core.
In June 2008 McCalmont-Woods identified and introduced 30 St.Mary Axe, EC3 to Abbey Business Centres Ltd where Swiss Re had taken the decision to release 17,000 sq ft of fitted-out space within the iconic 'Gherkin' building. The accommodation was situated on the 15th floor, the highest floor occupied by Swiss Re, with commanding views over the City of London and across to the West End and Canary Wharf.
Whereas Swiss Re had initially been seeking to let its surplus offices on a traditional lease at a quoting rent of £62.50 per sq ft, McCalmont-Woods was able to convince the swiss insurer to enter into an Operator Management Agreement with Abbey Offices instead and after twelve months exhaustive negotiations, Abbey opened its new City business centre in June 2009.
Cable & Wireless
26 Red Lion Square, WC1
Cable & Wireless sought to reduce its headcount by 2,700 in the UK by the end of June 2001, thereby releasing surplus offices for disposal.
Inspection of all relevant properties and supporting lease documents
The disposal of 42,000 sq ft in 26 Red Lion Square to The Economist Group helped release funds for the business at a time when they were most needed.
12 Moorgate, EC2
McCalmont-Woods was referred by its existing client JP Morgan Cazenove and was subsequently instructed by Cazenove Capital Management to negotiate the upward only rent review and mitigate any increase in rent payable as at the 24th June 2008 review date.
Consideration of existing lease contract and provisions for rent review
Analysis of City offices market encompassing thorough study of any relevant comparable evidence as at the valuation date
Preparation of initial report to client outlining McCalmont-Woods' recommended strategy
Inspection of suitable premises and relevant comparables
Negotiations with landlord's agent to include submission of a 'Calderbank' offer
McCalmont-Woods negotiated an 83% saving for Cazenove Capital Management on the increase proposed by the landlord, resulting in a minimal uplift of 1.5% on the rent passing. The settlement was reached by negotiation between the parties without the need for independent arbitration.