Citwax Investments Ltd, controlled by Israeli billionaire Teddy Sagi, is said to have acquired the landmark 4-acre Holborn Links Estate, a portfolio of 34 properties in the heart of London, from a group of investors represented by international asset management firm Triangle Group, for £300 million.
The London mid-Town district portfolio spanning 465,000 sq ft, comprises a range of office, retail, residential and educational properties in Southampton Row, Southampton Place, Bloomsbury Square and Sicilian Avenue.
Holborn Links was originally the capital’s old-fashioned Italian quarter, centered around the Sicilian Arcade, but it suffered heavy bombing during World War II.
In June 2014, London-based Triangle Group, which focuses on private equity, property, hotels and resorts, acquired the Holborn Links property portfolio consisting at the time of only 3.3 acres, from secretive property tycoon Eliasz Englander for £212.5 million.
This is the latest in a series of acquisitions made by Sagi, who also controls online gambling and sports-betting software company Playtech (LSE: PTEC), the gambling industry’s leading software and services supplier, which he founded in 1999.
Sagi, whose net worth is said to exceed $3 billion, has been expanding his British real estate empire during the past two years, by acquiring control of London’s historic Camden Markets in a series of transactions totaling about £500 million. In terms of visitors Camden Markets ranks as London’s second biggest tourist attraction after Buckingham Palace.
“I am pleased to have made this investment as I believe in the long-term fundamental strength of London,” said Sagi. “It is vital that London retains the best global talent and businesses to ensure the capital’s future as a global city and the Holborn Links Estate is an ideal base for London’s future business leaders.”
Citwax, which owns 71.5% of Camden Markets landlord Market Tech Holdings Ltd (MKT: LSE), plans to develop the Holborn portfolio by creating new space for SME and startups.
“SMEs and startups will become an increasingly vital part of the UK economy and deserve quality commercial property that works for them including options such as co-working and flexible desk requirements, all underpinned by strong digital infrastructure,” said Teresa Graham CBE, a highly regarded SME expert and mentor, who has been reportedly engaged as the project’s strategic advisor, according to Property Week. “I am delighted to have been invited to play a part in this project,” she added.
Graham holds a number of appointments, including non-executive, mentoring and advisory roles in growth businesses, and has recently been appointed as a non-executive director to the newly created British Business Bank. She was awarded a CBE in the 2007 New Years Honors list for public service. She served as the first woman Chairman of the London Society of Chartered Accountants and still advises The Institute of Chartered Accountants’ in England & Wales on SME issues.
The Holborn Links Estate is expected to benefit from the opening of Crossrail in 2018, which will increase footfall from Tottenham Court Road and around Covent Garden, Soho and Oxford Street.