The Board of Arbuthnot Banking Group PLC (the "Group" or "Arbuthnot") are pleased to announce that Arbuthnot Latham & Co., Limited has today agreed to acquire the freehold of an office building located at 7-21 Wilson Street, London EC2M 2TD for £15.7 million. It is intended that in due course the building will become the head office for the Arbuthnot Banking Group PLC, the principal location for Arbuthnot Latham & Co., Limited and London offices for Secure Trust Bank PLC.
7-21 Wilson Street comprises of 38,000 sq ft of offices and is currently let at a rent of £1.65 million per annum. The lease is due to expire in December 2013 and as the building will be 25 years old it is planned that a renovation and fit out programme will be undertaken which is expected to cost approximately £5.0 million. The acquisition of the building has been funded from the Group's existing resources. The lease on the Group's current premises at 20 Ropemaker Street, London, EC2Y 9AR, costs £1.7m per annum and has a break option in June 2015. It is anticipated that the Group will exercise the break option and will move together with Arbuthnot Latham & Co., Limited to Wilson Street in June 2015.
Commenting on the purchase of 7-21 Wilson Street, Henry Angest, Chairman and CEO of Arbuthnot Banking Group PLC, said:
"Up until December 2006 the Group operated from its own freehold premises. In line with our long term approach to developing the Group we believe it is beneficial to have full control over our property interests and that this can only be achieved through the ownership of a freehold property. I am, therefore, delighted that we have managed to acquire again freehold offices which meet our requirements."
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