- What The operator of Hong Kong’s largest department store makes play for UK REIT
- Why To gain exposure to UK real estate without having to buy direct assets
- What next It is understood the shares have been bought as a long-term investment
Thomas Lau, the younger brother of billionaire Joseph, has bought up shares in Landsec in a strategic move to gain operational exposure to UK real estate, React News can reveal.
Lau, who is the chairman and CEO of Lifestyle International Holdings, which operates Hong Kong’s largest department store, Sogo Hong Kong, has bought around £50m of shares in the UK REIT.
The shares that have been bought amount to around a 1.25% stake in Landsec.
Lau is investing in Landsec as a means of buying in to the retail and commercial property market in the UK without having to own physical properties. It is understood the shares have been bought as a long-term investment.
The deal represents Lau’s first property acquisition in the UK having run the rule over standing assets in London over the last 12 months. Last summer, Lau is understood to have been one of the investors in the mix for Columbia Threadneedle’s proposed £200m sale of 21 St. James’s Square, SW1 before the property was withdrawn.
Thomas Lau’s brother, Joseph, is no stranger to the UK property market, having amassed a prime portfolio of assets in London through his investment company Chinese Estates, including 11-12 St. James’s Square and Goldman Sachs’ former headquarters at River Court on Fleet Street.