LONDON, (Reuters) – The Qatar Investment Authority has bought a 20 percent stake in British property company Chelsfield Partners LLP, boosting the Gulf state’s interest in commercial real estate, the two partners said on Sunday.
Chelsfield, which owns London’s Camden market among other notable properties, was formed by Elliott Bernerd and Stuart Lipton, who together created Chelsfield Plc — a listed business that was taken private three years ago.
No financial details of the latest deal were given but one person familiar with the situation said a newspaper report that the Qataris had paid more than 80 million pounds ($147 million) for the 20 percent holding was “exaggerated”.
Hussain Abdullah, executive board member of the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), said property represented a core asset class for the sovereign fund and the investment in Chelsfield offered an opportunity to acquire further assets.
Bernerd said both Chelsfield and the QIA saw considerable opportunities becoming available due to present worsening market conditions.
The QIA, founded by the state of Qatar in 2003, already has some sizeable investments in British companies, including a stake in J Sainsbury of approximately 27 percent, a stake in the London Stock Exchange of 15 percent and a 6 percent holding in Barclays.
Its property interests include a 15 percent stake in Songbird Estates.