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London's Gherkin Sold To Brazilian Billionaire For £700M

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The Gherkin, one of the most distinctive buildings on London's skyline, has been bought by a Brazilian billionaire.

Joseph Safra is reported to have paid more than £700m for the 180 metre tower, which is officially known as 30 St Mary Axe, its street address.

The Norman Foster-designed building was completed in 2004 for Swiss Re.

The insurer sold the building in 2006 at the height of the last property boom for £600m.

However, the buyers - a fund managed by Germany's IVG Immobilien and UK private equity group Evans Randall - had been in default for the past five years on the £395m they borrowed to fund the purchase.

Savills and Deloitte Real Estate were appointed earlier this year to sell the Gherkin and fielded interest from some 200 parties.

The Safra Group said: "The acquisition of 30 St Mary Axe is consistent with our real estate strategy of investing in properties that are truly special - at the best locations within great cities.

"While only 10 years old, this building is already a London icon that is distinguished from others in the market, with excellent value growth potential. We intend to make the building even better and more desirable through active ownership that will lead to a range of enhancements that will benefit tenants."

Will these be the type of enhancements that increase the rent?

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From Wikipedia

The Safra Group is an international network of companies controlled by the Joseph Safra family, comprising banking and financial institutions, industrial operations, real estate and agribusiness. It is present in the US, Europe, the Middle East, Latin America, Asia and the Caribbean.

Probably some £$billions of bail-out money involved somewhere along the line.

The company would have to find somewhere to park it's free taxpayers money.

If they're starting to establish themselves in the UK at least it'll be another source of income for the politicians. How it'll benefit anyone else is another matter altogether apart from pushing up the price of office blocks.

Edited by billybong

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Everything overpriced now the dip in commercial seems over/not many distressed sales and yields have come in a lot.

I recently saw the below notice on one busy auction for commercial property.

I guess the banks no longer need to cut down any more to pay back those bailout loans and can just hold on forever using that lovely cheap money.



The commercial property auctions service was launched by CBRE in 2011 in anticipation of the release of large quantities of high grade commercial property by the financial institutions. In reality, the high volume of property released for auction has not materialised and therefore CBRE has taken the decision that it will no longer hold commercial property auctions in the UK.

Edited by Fromage Frais

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  • 406 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?

      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%

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