Overseas investors seal £45m deal to become owners of Sage Plc’s new HQ

Overseas investors have sealed deals worth almost £45m for the two buildings which will become the new HQ for North East software giant Sage.

In March LCN Euro Property Holdings, a New York based private equity firm, swooped for the Cobalt 23 building based at Cobalt Business Park in North Tyneside, in a £26.2m deal.

Now the same group has snapped up the neighbouring building Cobalt 22 in an £18.3m deal, overseen by the Newcastle office of property consultants Avison Young, who were also involved in the first deal.

The significant sale makes the firm landlords to the UK’s largest listed tech firm Sage Plc, which is moving its global headquarters from Great Park in Gosforth, Newcastle, to the North Tyneside business park, while also investing a whopping £40m on the two offices to create the right space and environment for the 2,000-strong workforce.

The software giant agreed leases on 203,728sq ft of space across the two neighbouring buildings, representing the largest letting ever completed in the region, and the firm is dueto move into their swish new headquarters this year.

In the recent deal Avison Young acted for LCN Euro Property Holdings to secured the acquisition of Cobalt 22, a freehold investment property comprising 78,000 sq ft of high quality Grade A offices over four storeys.

It adjoins the 126,000sq ft five-storey storey Cobalt 23, known as the Zeta Building, and a separate 171 space ground level car park, all let to Sage PLC on a 15 year lease, expiring in December 2034, having relocated from Great North Park, Newcastle.

The double acqusition comes days after neighbouring business park Quorum Park received a boost after its owners secured a £24.7m finance deal.

Shelborn, which became the majority owner of the Quorum park at the end of last year, received the significant five-year debt facility through London-based Bank of London and the Middle East (BLME).

Together, the deals demonstrate how the investment market in North East parks is in good health.

Simon Beanland, principal at Avison Young, said: ”Avison Young were pleased to buy these two contiguous investment properties, which meet the requirements of our client, being well let to a secure undoubted covenant, Sage Group PLC.

“Despite uncertainties arising from Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic, these investment deals demonstrate the appetite of UK and overseas property investment companies to buy well let offices on North East business parks.”

Cobalt Park is one of the leading business parks in the North East with proven letting performance and an excellent track record for tenant retention, good parking provision and on site amenities. Occupiers include P&G, Santander, Accenture, North Tyneside Council, EE, DXC Technology and Newcastle Building Society.

BNP Paribas acted on behalf of the vendor.

Last week concerns were raised at the North of Tyne Combined Authority’s overview and scrutiny committee that North East business park offices could be left empty, if workers opt to continue to work from home permanently once the Covid-19 crisis has passed.

However, North of Tyne mayor Jamie Driscoll said he hoped the pandemic could lead to more big firms relocating to the region, now that they have realised “expensive shiny buildings in central London” are not necessary.