In a pickle: The Gherkin to be auctioned off as receivers called in
Thursday 24 April 2014
London’s Gherkin skyscraper is set to be auctioned off later this year after lenders appointed receivers to the iconic City building today.
The tower, formally known as 30 St Mary’s Axe, was at one time the UK’s most expensive office when German bank IVG and private equity firm Evans Randall bought it for £630 million from original owner Swiss Re at the top of the market in 2007.
But the financial crisis sent its value plunging and the buyers defaulted on a £400 million loan from a five-bank consortium in 2009. Part of the loan was also made in Swiss francs, increasing the burden on the borrowers as the currency soared against the pound.
But recovering property markets and huge demand for assets in the capital have boosted sale prospects for the Gherkin, prompting lenders to bring in Deloitte as receivers. It is understood a sale is likely within months.
One senior property source put the value of the Gherkin at close to £600 million and said it would attract interest from a host of international and domestic buyers. He said: “This is a trophy product. Values for prime assets are approaching the levels we saw at the peak of the market.”
Potential buyers include Chinese insurer Ping An, which bought the Lloyd’s Building for £260 million last year.
The Gherkin was commissioned by Swiss Re to replace the Baltic Exchange, damaged by an IRA bomb in 1992. Architects Foster and Partners designed the building, which would become one of the design companies most famous creations.
Work on the construction began in 2001 and the Gherkin opened three years later, with more than 76,500 square metres of commercial space including a club on the top floor with panoramic views.
- 1 This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
- 2 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 3 Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
- 4 Ottawa shootings: Bruce MacKinnon's cartoon is the perfect tribute to soldier Nathan Cirillo
- 5 Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Isis releases first video showing the stoning of woman accused of committing adultery as her father shouts 'don't call me Dad'
FCKH8: Provocative anti-sexism video showing young girls swearing reinstated by YouTube
Diwali: What is the festival of lights – and how is it celebrated around the world?
Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
Ottawa shootings: Bruce MacKinnon's cartoon is the perfect tribute to soldier Nathan Cirillo
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
iJobs Money & Business
£50000 - £90000 per annum + benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Markit EDM (CA...
£350 - £360 per day: Ashdown Group: SQL Developer with T-SQL, Watford, Hertfor...
120-150k: Accountancy Action: We are looking for an experienced CFO from a min...
£24000 - £28000 per annum + bonus & benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Business Syste...