Spanish group to sell stake in HSBC's Canary Wharf headquarters

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The Independent Online

Goldman Sachs has been instructed to sell a stake in HSBC tower, the landmark skyscraper in Canary Wharf, to help pay off a £810m loan on the building, writes Mark Leftly. Metrovacesa, the Spanish property giant, racked up the debt when it

took the building off HSBC's hands in a sale-and-leaseback last year worth £1.09bn, the highest price paid for a property in the UK.

The group has until November to refinance the loan, which was provided by HSBC. However, market sources said that HSBC was unlikely to offer up the whole loan again, meaning that Metrovacesa must come up with fresh equity. The building's value is estimated to have fallen by more than a fifth, but the sale of a minority stake of about 10 per cent should raise £80m.

Metrovacesa has been selling assets, last month raising £346m from retail properties sold to French group Unibail-Rodamco.

Meanwhile, Hammerson, the FTSE-100 property company, will announce its interim results on Thursday. They will be dominated by a £17m writedown in relation to Friday's news that JPMorgan has pulled out of plans to consolidate its London operations in the City. Hammerson was development manager on the project, but JPMorgan has decided to move to Canary Wharf.

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