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Mitsui/Aimco to finance Stanhope's Television Centre buy

By Paul Norman - Friday, July 20, 2012 15:41

Canadian state pension fund Alberta Investment Management Corp (Aimco) and Japan’s Mitsui Fudosan are to provide 90% of the financing for Stanhope’s £200m acquisition of BBC Television Centre in west London.

The BBC confirmed this afternoon that the parties have exchanged contracts.

The remaining 10% of the acquisition cost will come from Stanhope, which is planning to convert the 140acre site into housing, offices and hotels.

Stanhope will develop the centre in partnership with the BBC.

It will take a 999-year leasehold on the site and rent offices to the BBC, including a building for the headquarters of BBC Worldwide, the broadcaster’s commercial division, as well as BBC studios and post production.

The broadcaster will retain the freehold for three years before passing it to Stanhope, allowing it to gradually unwind its operations at Television Centre.

The BBC will also retain a clawback on profits dependent on Stanhope’s success in securing planning consent for further developments.

The Grade II listed “doughnut” – the semicircular frontage of the building – will be preserved and incorporated within the development.

Allford Hall Monaghan Morris is the architect.

BBC chief operating officer Caroline Thomson said: “This marks a critical step in the transformation of the BBC’s property portfolio and the delivery of great value to Licence Fee payers.”

Clive Hodge, interim ceo for BBC Studios and Post Production, added: "We will shortly announce the details of where our studios and post production services will be based until 2015. In the meantime, until we leave TVC next year, it’s very much business as usual for us and our clients using our BBC Television Centre, Elstree and Bristol facilities.

"We'll be returning to the re-developed TVC site with fantastic new facilities in early 2015. In the interim, much of our high-end studios technology at BBC Television Centre will be relocated so clients will continue to enjoy the same high-quality studios and studios support services. Our thriving digital media services team are set to relocate to a dedicated and permanent home in West London around the start of 2013.”

pnorman@costar.co.uk