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Benchmark Group PLC (BMK)

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Thursday 19 October, 2000

Benchmark Group PLC

Acquisition

Benchmark Group PLC
19 October 2000


   BENCHMARK FORMS JOINT VENTURE WITH JER PARTNERS TO
 ACQUIRE £250 MILLION CENTRAL LONDON PROPERTY PORTFOLIO
                        FROM MEPC

Benchmark Group PLC ('Benchmark'), the specialist Central
London   property  investment  and  development  company,
announces that it has formed a limited partnership,  with
JER  Partners  ('JER'), the investment affiliate  of  the
J.E.  Robert Companies.  The limited partnership,  called
Benchmark   JER  1  Limited  Partnership  ('BJER'),   has
acquired  a portfolio of six buildings in Central  London
from MEPC PLC ('MEPC') for £250 million in cash.

BJER  is  owned 50/50 by Benchmark and JER who will  each
provide  £23.75 million of equity and subordinated  loans
towards  the  purchase  consideration  with  the  balance
funded by a senior loan of £180 million from Eurohypo and
a  junior  loan of £22.5 million from Deutsche  Bank  AG.
Both  loans  are on a non-recourse basis  to  the  equity
partners.   Benchmark's  equity  participation  has  been
funded from existing facilities.

The  portfolio acquired by BJER totals 58,500m2  (630,000
sq  ft)  of offices and 5,400m2 (58,000 sq ft) of  retail
accommodation.  It comprises:

* the  freehold of 100 Fetter Lane and 12 Norwich  Street
  EC4 (comprising 8,825 m2 (95,000 sq ft) of offices);

* the   freehold   of  Landmark  House,  Hammersmith   W6
  (comprising 8,360m2 (90,000 sq ft) of offices);

* the   freehold   of  11/12  St  James's   Square,   SW1
  (comprising 6,970m2 (75,000 sq ft) of offices);

* the  freehold  of  84/102 Charing Cross  Road,  115/125
  Shaftesbury  Avenue  and 3/7 New  Compton  Street,  WC2
  (comprising  13,935m2 (150,000 sq ft)  of  offices  and
  5,390m2 (58,000 sq ft) of retail accommodation);

* the  62 years unexpired leasehold of Piercy House,  7/9
  Copthall Avenue, EC2 (providing 2,500m2 (27,000 sq  ft)
  of offices);

* the  133 years unexpired leasehold of 90 Long Acre, WC2
  (comprising 17,650 m2 (190,000 sq ft) of offices).

The  total current rental income from the whole portfolio
is approximately £17.8 million per annum.  Benchmark will
provide  the strategic asset management of the properties
on behalf of BJER.

JER   Partners   is  a  group  of  real  estate   limited
partnerships  managed  by  members  of  the  J.E.  Robert
Companies.  J.E. Robert Companies was founded in 1981  in
the  USA, and is an active international private investor
in  real estate and related operating companies in  North
America, Europe, Mexico and Asia.  JER and its affiliates
have  managed or invested more than $40 billion  in  real
estate  assets since its inception.  In 1999, JER  formed
JER  Real Estate Advisors (UK) Limited to acquire  and/or
invest    in   real   estate   property   and   operating
opportunities in the UK and Europe.

Nigel  Kempner, Chief Executive of Benchmark said:  'This
is  an  opportunity to acquire from MEPC  a  first  class
Central  London property portfolio with an initial  yield
of  around 7% with opportunities to create added value by
further  active management and development of  individual
situations.    The  acquisition  complements   well   our
existing  portfolio and means that we now have  increased
our spread of properties to a total of over 2 million  sq
ft  with  a  value of around £1 billion  all  in  Central
London.   It also gives us an opportunity to work closely
with JER, a highly respected US real estate investor  and
asset  manager, with whom I am looking forward to working
closely on this project.'

Joe  Robert,  Founder  and Chairman  of  JER  said  'This
acquisition  has  given  us the  opportunity  to  make  a
significant  acquisition in the Central  London  property
market  in  partnership with Benchmark who  have  already
proved themselves to be one of the top specialist Central
London property teams   We will be able to take advantage
of an exciting Central London property market which shows
good  prospects  for further rental and  capital  growth.
This  acquisition, and others completed by JER in  Europe
and  the  UK, demonstrates our confidence and  continuing
interest in the UK and European real estate markets.'


For further information please contact:
Benchmark Group PLC
Nigel J Kempner
020 7287 6881

Tavistock Communications Ltd
Jeremy Carey/Karen Roberts
020 7600 2288

JER Partners
Joseph E. Robert, Jr
001 701 714 8024

Notes to Editors:
Nelson Bakewell acted on behalf of BJER and Franc Warwick
on  behalf of MEPC PLC.  DTZ Debenham Tie Leung  provided
independent valuation advice to BJER and Insignia Richard
Ellis  provided valuation advice to Eurohypo and Deutsche
Bank AG.



                                                      

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