Agents appointed to sell London's iconic Gherkin

Interest in tower expected to come from Middle East investors

NEWS, Business, Deliotte, Savills, The Gherkin

Savills and Deloitte Real Estate have been jointly instructed to sell The Gherkin at 30 St Mary Axe in the City of London following the appointment of Phil Bowers, Neville Kahn and Alex Adam of Deloitte LLP as the Joint Fixed Charge Receivers on the landmark office building.

Marketing of the iconic 505,000ft2 office building is about to commence with interest expected to come from all corners of the globe - it was reported earlier this month that Qatar’s ruling Al Thani family was in talks to buy the tower.

Designed by Lord Foster, the 40-storey skyscraper opened in 2004 and is currently multi-let to approximately 20 tenants including Swiss Re, Kirkland & Ellis International LLP and ION Trading.

"This is an iconic City of London development that will appeal to an international audience. Middle Eastern investors continue to actively invest in the UK and in particular central London and we believe given the overall strength of the tenant mix, average unexpired lease terms and the reversionary nature of some of the leases, we will see serious interest from this part of the globe," said Robin Williamson, head of Middle East Real Estate at Deloitte's Financial Advisory practice in the Middle East, Deloitte Corporate Finance Limited (DCFL).

The latest London Office Crane Survey by Deloitte Real Estate shows office development has now been running at below average levels for five years, with 9.2m ft2 under construction across central London. This, combined with a clear rise in office take-up over the last 12 months, has resulted in availability falling to its lowest point since 2007, with 45% of space under construction already let.

According to Savills research, over the last five and a half years, Central London has seen £71.1bn invested into the office and retail markets, with overseas investors accounting for £47.7bn, equating to 67% of the overall volumes.

The research notes that during this time period, investors from Asia Pacific represented 19% of total office and retail transactions, with European buyers accounting for 18%. US and Middle Eastern investors represented 13% and 10% respectively.

The firm also highlights that UK institutions are another current key investor group in the Central London market having accounted for 23% of office transactional activity between January and May 2014, compared to just 10% during the same period in 2013. 

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