(Adds media reports, analyst comments, details)
Feb 28 British Land and Oxford
Properties are in advanced talks to sell the "Cheesegrater"
skyscraper in London, with some media reports naming China's CC
Land as the potential buyer in a billion pound ($1.2 billion)
A sale of the distinctive central London office building
will give an indication of the health of the UK commercial
property market following last June's Brexit vote.
"It is not certain that these discussions will lead to a
sale of the building," British Land said in a statement on
Tuesday on the future of The Leadenhall Building, as the office
block is formally known.
For British Land, the sale would allow the company to
accelerate its transition toward campus-orientated office
portfolios, while disposing of a building that is now fully let.
CC Land, a company run by the Chinese property magnate
Cheung Chung-kiu, was seeking to buy the entire building for
1.02 billion pounds, having seen off rival bids from Korea
Investment Corp and Temasek Holdings, specialist property
website CoStar said.
That valuation would make it the second most expensive
building sold in London behind the HSBC tower in the Canary
Wharf financial district.
British Land had hoped to fetch about 500 million pounds for
its 50 percent stake in the Cheesegrater, although it could
fetch a premium due to the building's status in London, a source
told Reuters in November.
CC Land was not immediately available to comment, while
British Land and Cushman & Wakefield, which are managing the
sale for British Land, declined to comment.
The market has speculated that an overseas group would buy
the building as the pound's slide to multi-year lows
since the Brexit vote has drawn in foreign buyers, especially
Oxford Properties, which invests in real estate for one of
Canada's largest pension plans, had also been thought of by
analysts as a potential buyer.
($1 = 0.8053 pounds)
(Reporting by Esha Vaish in Bengaluru, additional reporting by
Michelle Price in Hong Kong; editing by Jason Neely/Keith Weir)