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Done deal: Battersea Power Station sold to Malaysians

Malaysian consortium SP Setia and Sime Darby have exchanged contracts and snapped up Battersea Power Station for £400 million

The team, which also includes the Employees’ Pension Fund of Malaysia, finalised the deal yesterday 28 days after signing an exclusivity agreement to buy the 15-hectare riverside site last month (see below).

Overseen by Knight Frank and Ernst & Young Real Estate Corporate Finance, the purchase effectively ends Chelsea FC, developer Almacantar and KPF’s slim hopes of converting the iconic Grade II*-listed brick power station into a 60,000 football stadium.

Pictures released by agents Knight Frank to mark the exchange suggest the buyers will press ahead with the existing consent for the plot masterminded by Rafael Viñoly on behalf of previous developer Treasury Holdings. The deal could also mean the green light for a first phase, housing-led scheme design by Ian Simpson Architects.

However, asked about the next steps for the design and whether consented proposals would be taken forward, a spokesperson for Knight Frank added: ‘[The site] been sold unconditionally, so we wait to hear.’

Fergal O’Reilly, director at joint agent Ernst & Young Real Estate Corporate Finance, said: ‘The international marketing campaign has achieved a fantastic result, which some thought unlikely if not impossible, returning a number of highly credible bids from across the globe, and ultimately resulting in an exchange of contracts with the SP Setia consortium. The sale of Battersea Power Station (BPS) is testament to the continuing draw of London as a centre for global investment.’

Previous story (AJ 07.06.2012)

Malaysians land Battersea Power Station

SP Setia and Sime Darby have won the right to redevelop Battersea Power Station in south London

The Malaysia-based developers have entered an exclusivity agreement over the sale of the 15-hectare riverside site which has evaded redevelopment for the past 30 years.

Once completed, the £400 million deal would mark the fourth sale of the iconic Grade II*-listed brick power station since it shut in 1983.

In a statement, administrator Ernst and Young confirmed it was now ‘working towards a timely exchange and completion of the site and associated land.’

In a joint statement, the Malaysian developers said they would preserve the building’s façade and ‘iconic chimney stacks’ and were committed to extending the Northern Line. There is no mention of an architectural team on the bid.  

‘S P Setia and Sime Darby Property’s plans involve the development of a sustainable multi-use real estate regeneration project that will provide economic impetus for the creation of a new vibrant centre for south-west central London’, it said.

Developer Almacantar made a rival bid to transform the site into a new home for Chelsea Football Club and enlisted KPF and Rafael Vinoly to work up proposals.

Designed by Giles Gilbert Scott and completed between 1929 and 1955, the building has been the subject of successive failed redevelopment attempts including a theme park. The latest attempt, also masterplanned by Vinoly, went into administration late last year forcing the site to go on sale on the open market for the first time in its history.

S P Setia and Sime Darby have yet to announce an architect for the project. It is understood the developers would work within the site’s existing Vinoly-masterplanned planning consent for mixed-use development which was won in 2010

Earlier this year Terry Farrell and Partners floated plans to save the building which would see only two walls and the famous towers retained.

Neil Bennett previously told the AJ: ‘We understand [SP Setia] are going to go ahead broadly with the [Viñoly] scheme but with a much less dense quantum. They are a Malaysian-based firm and they are looking at the scheme from an Asian Perspective and looking at more higher per-sale costs.’

Wandsworth Council leader Ravi Govindia said:  There is still some way to go but this is potentially very good news. The power station is one of the biggest development opportunities in Nine Elms and key to extending the Northern Line into Battersea.

‘We’re making tremendous progress towards transforming this old industrial stretch of the South Bank which will provide up to 25,000 new jobs for London. It’s important that this site and its iconic building are not left behind and that a developer is brought in who understands our vision for the new Nine Elms.’

Helen Fisher, programme director at Nine Elms on the South Bank, said the announcement was an ‘important step forward’ in securing the long-term future of the area.

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