(Bloomberg) -- Great Portland Estates Plc plans to raise £350 million ($445 million) in a fully underwritten rights issue as the developer looks to exploit a shortage of high-quality office space. 

The landlord will issue 152 million new shares at 230 pence each to invest in “acquisition opportunities in central London with values approaching their trough,” according to a statement Thursday. The move comes as the company has turned net buyer for the first time in more than a decade and echoes the company’s strategy in the aftermath of the financial crisis when it twice raised capital to invest in distressed London properties. 

The capital raise “will allow GPE to seize the significant opportunity we see emerging in the central London commercial real estate space, ” Great Portland Chief Executive Office Toby Courtauld said in the statement. “We have seen a correction in asset values over the last 18 months with central London commercial real estate now trading in line with levels last seen in 2009 in real terms.”

London’s West End, where the developer is most active, has been a beneficiary of the shifting demand for workspace since the pandemic as companies seek space in the most vibrant districts with entertainment options that can help lure back staff. The dearth of new projects started by developers have served to accentuate a supply shortage, allowing landlords to charge top rents for space in the most sought after neighborhoods. 

The rights issue comes as Great Portland Estates upgraded its rent guidance to 5%-10% for 2025, following a 3.8% increase last year, according to a separate statement Thursday. Higher rates continued to weigh on values but the rate of decline slowed to 2.4% in the second half of the year through March.

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