MGN sued for rent arrears

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The Independent Online
MIRROR Group Newspapers, publisher of the Daily and Sunday Mirror, the People and the Sporting Life, is being sued for for not paying rent on its Holborn Circus headquarters in Central London.

According to the administrative receiver of Robert Maxwell Estates, MGN has not paid the latest quarterly rent on the building, due on Christmas Day.

The receiver, Maurice Whithall of Grant Thornton, said he had issued writs against MGN and also against Maxwell Communication Corporation, which is the lead tenant and sublets to MGN.

MGN claims that it is owed money by MCC, which it should be allowed to offset against the rent due. An MGN spokesman confirmed there was 'a dispute over the rent'.

Despite the dispute MGN has also been in discussions this week about buying the distinctive blue and red 1960s building. But it is also considering moving to a cheaper fringe location. One MGN source confirmed that the group might move its 1,350 staff to Canary Wharf in Docklands.

Advising MGN on the possible move is Peter Morano, former leasing director of Olympia & York, the troubled Canadian property giant that developed Canary Wharf.

Elsewhere, MGN could opt for London Bridge City or Rose Court, both on the south bank of the Thames, or Rosebury Avenue, Islington. It is looking for about 150,000 sq ft, less than the 220,000 sq ft it occupies in Holborn Circus.

If it moved it would have to negotiate some form of exit from its lease with Robert Maxwell Estates, which has six years to run.

Because of the depressed state of office property it could expect to be given five years rent-free wherever it went.