MidEast investors sink $406m into London project

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An artist's impression of the Kings Reach project in London.

An artist's impression of the Kings Reach project in London.

UK-based private equity real estate company CIT Group has secured £250m ($406m) from a consortium of Middle East investors to kickstart its 30-storey Kings Reach Tower scheme in London.

Work is now set to begin on the project, which includes 370,000 sq ft of offices, 72,000 sq ft of shops and 173 flats, CIT said in a statement.

It said the project funding came from a club of Middle East banks led by ABC International Bank and Saudi-based Mohamed Al Subeaei & Sons Investment Company (MASIC).

MASIC's involvement as the largest financier to the scheme marks its entry into the UK market, the statement added.

CIT and its joint venture partner Jadwa Investment secured planning permission for the Kohn Pedersen Fox-designed scheme from Southwark council in October 2011.

The project, which will start on site this year, will see the existing Kings Reach Tower and adjacent podium extended and redeveloped.

CIT managing director of development, George Kyriacou, said: "This development represents a major step in the regeneration of the South Bank.

"We are delighted to have worked with funders from the Middle East to get this project to the point where we are ready to start on site."

Jadwa managing director Ahmed Al-Khateeb added: "Acquiring Kings Reach Tower back in 2010 and developing the tower demonstrates our belief in the London real estate market and in the investment opportunity it represents to us."

The joint venture partners will begin selling the flats next year and it is anticipated the project will be complete by the end of 2015.

CIT is a private equity real estate company which has invested £3bn in real estate markets globally.

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