Pan-African bank puts 19-floor Ecobank Towers up for sale

Ecobank Towers Nairobi
Ecobank Towers on Muindi Mbingu Street, Nairobi (viewed from different angles). PHOTO/COURTESY
Ecobank has put its Nairobi headquarters up for sale as the Pan-African lender shifts focus to its core business.

The bank has invited bids from potential buyers for the 19-floor Ecobank Towers, one of the most recognisable landmark buildings in the Nairobi central business district.

Ecobank purchased the office building at Muindi Mbingu Street for Sh1.5 billion in 2008 from the then owner East Africa Building Society.

The building has a gross lettable area of 93,669 square feet and its forward passing net rental is projected at Sh91,657,548 per annum.

“This (sale) is in line with the bank’s business strategy to focus on its core business,” Ecobank said in a statement, adding that it was also seeking to move its head office from the city centre.

Ecobank has enlisted Chicago-based real estate services provider Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) as the sole agent for the sale of the building.

Despite the supply glut that has seen offices recording sustained low occupancy rates, JLL is confident that Ecobank Towers is uniquely positioned in a manner that it can easily be converted into a hotel or educational facility right in the heart of the vibrant city centre.

“Its (location) provides a compelling opportunity to reposition the asset for alternative uses including apartments, student housing, education facilities and SME office suites, all of which are in high demand,” JLL says on its website.

Ecobank follows in the footsteps of beer maker East African Breweries (EABL), which recently sold its Ruaraka-based headquarters for Sh675 million in a move aimed to trim its non-core business assets.

EABL sold the building to Tembo Sacco, a 2,400-member savings and credit cooperative society comprising current and former EABL staff, who have now leased the facility to the brewer.

Companies around the country are taking an aggressive approach to restructuring their operations in the face of an era of constrained profitability – with sale of non-core assets being a key strategy.