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Business

China magnate buys London 'Cheesegrater' tower

A Hong-Kong-based company has agreed to acquire London's distinctive Leadenhall Building, also known as the "Cheesegrater" skyscraper. It'll be yet another famous office building there under foreign ownership.

Chinese property magnate Cheung Chung Kiu on Wednesday exchanged contracts to buy central London's iconic "Cheesegrater" office tower for 1.135 billion pounds ($1.4 billion, 1.32 billion euros). The building's unusual nickname derives from its distinctive wedge shape.

The deal included 771 million pounds in cash and the repayment of 364 million pounds of the sellers' loans to shareholders, the Hong Kong-based company said.

The 46-floor Leadenhall Building is the tallest in the City of London business district. It was completed in 2014 and has since charged record-breaking rents of more than 100 pounds per square foot for prime floors.

Cherry picking

Tenants include insurers Aon and MS Amlin plus the building's architects, Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners.

Watch video 02:34

Chinese firms in buying mood

"This sale shows continued investor appetite for best-in-class, well-located property in London," current owner British Land said in a statement.

Many of London's most famous office buildings are now under foreign ownership, with Qatar being a lead investor. It bought the HSBC Tower in Canary Wharf for 1.2 billion pounds in 2014.

Britain's vote to leave the European Union has sent sterling tumbling, pushing it around 14 percent lower against the Chinese yuan and making London property even more attractive to foreign investors.

hg/jd (dpa, AFP)

 

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