The Spotlight On: Martin Jepson, senior vice-president of investment and development, Brookfield

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The Independent Online

Who's Martin Jepson?

He is the UK boss of Canadian developer Brookfield, who has just splashed out £518m buying offices in London from rival property company Hammerson.

Hey big spender!

It's a match made in heaven. Brookfield wants to get into London property, and has £5bn to spend. Hammerson on the other hand is looking to sell London offices to concentrate on shopping centres. Not only that, Mr Jepson used to run Hammerson's London business until last year, so he knows what he is buying.

Fast work. What is he buying?

Some choice cuts of London real estate, including Hammerson's prized 99 Bishopsgate. He's also buying 125 Old Broad Street, an office tower built on the site of the old London Stock Exchange.

Is that a pane of glass whistling by?

Hammerson has been carrying out repairs at Old Broad Street, which has been plagued with glazing problems after sheets of glass fell from the building. It is all covered by insurance, the company reassures us.

What else is Jepson buying?

He's paid Hammerson 5 per cent above book value for the properties, which they're happy with. The quicker than expected sale also allows them to pump the cash back into their retail portfolio ahead of schedule. Among other things the funds will be channelled into Hammerson's new £400m shopping centre in Marseilles.

Is Hammerson finished in London?

No. It has a smattering of other City offices left to sell over the next 18 months. The company will also keep its 50 per cent stake in the former Bishopsgate Goods Yard in east London, where it plans a commercial and retail development in the heart of the "tech city" area. It also plans to keep hold of its own headquarters at 10 Grosvenor Square after initially putting the building up for sale in February.