LONDON (Sept 3): Samsung Life Insurance Co is in talks to sell Commerzbank AG’s City of London headquarters to Singapore-based Wing Tai Holdings Ltd, two people with knowledge of the matter said.
Samsung Life is seeking about £425 million (US$548 million) for the 30 Gresham Street building. The terms of the deal haven’t yet been finalized and there’s no guarantee that the transaction will be a completed, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Investec Plc is the other major tenant in the roughly 400,000 square-foot property that’s close to the Bank of England.
Spokesmen for Samsung Life and its adviser, DWS Group, declined to comment. Officials at Wing Tai, a property and retail group, didn’t respond to requests for a comment.
Investors from Asian countries including Singapore and South Korea, fleeing high prices at home, are taking advantage of the pound’s weakness to splash out on London properties. Asian companies accounted for 65% of the £5.6 billion of international capital invested in London commercial real estate in the first half, according to broker Knight Frank.
Samsung Life has been “encouraged” to sell the London property by the continued demand for office space in London, according to a sales document for the building seen by Bloomberg News. The company bought the building for about £310 million in 2013, according to reports at the time. It has since leased vacant space, increasing rents.