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Huawei confirms Green Park mega deal

By Paul Norman - Wednesday, October 10, 2012 9:03

Huawei, the Chinese global information and communications technology solutions provider, has confirmed it has completed a deal with Oxford Properties, the real estate arm of the OMERS Worldwide group of companies, to move its UK headquarters to Green Park, Reading.

CoStar News revealed two weeks ago that the deal had completed.

In April 2013, Huawei will take up residence at the 140,000 sq ft building at 300 South Oak Way.

At the end of July, Oxford signed a deal with Green Park’s biggest occupier Cisco Systems to take back 640,000 sq ft of vacant offices that US technology giant Cisco took more than a decade ago but never occupied.

Cisco retains a circa 100,000 sq ft building at the park.

The vacant buildings included 300 South Oak Way, which has been leased in its entirety to Huawei at around £23 per sq ft.

The deal further strengthens Oxford’s control of the key South East business destination as it seeks to rejuvenate and improve the offering via a series of initiatives.

Oxford Properties bought the 1.3m sq ft Green Park from Prupim in November 2011 for £400m.

It then brought in new agents Cushman & Wakefield and DTZ to work alongside retained agent Campbell Gordon and will shortly go to market seeking prelets for more than 800,000 sq ft of offices at a standard rent across the park of £30 per sq ft.

Huawei said its announcement was the first step in an £1.3bn investment and procurement programme into the UK.

Huawei’s move to Green Park follows the announcement by Ren Zhengfei, founder and CEO of Huawei, in September 2012, that the company would make investments of £650m and spend another £650m on procurement in the UK over the next five years.

The privately-owned group also announced that the company’s workforce would increase from the 800 it currently employs in the UK, to 1,500, over the next five years.

The agreement is Oxford Properties’ largest deal since acquiring the business park.

Victor Zhang, CEO, Huawei Technologies UK said: “This move marks the beginning of an exciting new period of development for Huawei in the UK. We opened our first office in here in 2001 and the decision to move to a new headquarters reinforces our long term commitment to the UK.

“Green Park is at the heart of the Britain’s communications and technology industry, is well located for some of our major customers, has excellent transport links and is the right location for us as we continue our UK expansion. The new HQ offers the space to accommodate up to 1,000 people as our business here continues to grow in the coming years.”

Chris Carter Keall, vice-president of Oxford Properties, said: “We are delighted that Huawei will be joining our thriving business community at Green Park. This transaction is a strong example of Oxford’s asset management capabilities. Maximising the flexible, Grade A space recently returned to Oxford Properties has been a priority for us and we’ve worked closely with the Huawei team to understand their requirements and put together a package that fulfils their specific needs. Green Park, with its excellent facilities, access to a skilled workforce, and transport links, is able to provide the best environment to support Huawei’s future growth.”

Alok Sharma, MP for Reading West, said: “I am very pleased that Huawei has chosen to base its headquarters in my constituency in Reading and I look forward to welcoming them to the area. Huawei is providing important investment to the UK and creating hundreds of new jobs for Reading and Green Park, demonstrating once again that Reading is an economic powerhouse in the south-east.”

CoStar News revealed yesterday that Oxford Properties has strengthened its ownership at park with the acquisition of Logica’s headquarters from AXA Real Estate acting on behalf of CIS,

Oxford has bought the freehold of Logica’s 65,500 sq ft headquarters building, 250 Brook Drive, for £19.5m, an 8.75% yield.

DTZ advised Oxford; Knight Frank advised Axa Real Estate and CIS.

pnorman@costar.co.uk