London - Leading global law firm Mayer Brown has advised China Overseas Holdings on its £152m acquisition of 1 Finsbury Circus, London.

With a total asset value exceeding $25 billion, China Overseas Holdings is one of the largest real estate developers focused in Mainland China and this sale is their debut acquisition outside of China. China Overseas Holdings is the holding company of Hong Kong listed blue-chip, China Overseas Land & Investment Ltd.

The property was sold by Invesco Real Estate on behalf of their flagship core European fund, who made their original purchase in June 2011. The 210,000sq ft building is a Lutyens designed building dating back to c. 1924. It was redeveloped in 1988 and substantially refurbished again in 2008.

The acquisition follows an active 2011 in which Asian investors have invested more than £2.4bn into central London, nearly four times the total for 2010.

Chris Harvey, Real Estate partner, said: "This is China Overseas Holdings' debut acquisition outside of China. There's been continued demand for prime London buildings, ahead of cities like New York and Paris and having recently acted for a number of overseas investors on large deals this year, we anticipate continued investment in prime London buildings in 2012 as overseas investors seek to strategically expand and diversify their portfolios."

Jeckle Chiu, Corporate partner, who assisted on the matter, said: "We congratulate our longstanding client, China Overseas Holdings, on this excellent transaction." 

The Mayer Brown team was led by Real Estate partner Chris Harvey, assisted by Real Estate senior associate Kirsty Sherwood, Corporate & Securities partner Jeremy Kenley (both London) and Jeckle Chiu (Hong Kong) and Tax partner Peter Steiner and associate Ben Fryer. Mayer Brown, has been working with China Overseas Holdings in Asia for decades on a variety of corporate and investment-related transactions.

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