Securum unloads Gucci building

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The Independent Online
Securum, the asset management group set up by the Swedish government to handle the bad debts of failed lender Nordbanken, has made another high-profile disposal.

The pounds 13m sale of the Gucci building on Old Bond Street in London's West End is further justification of the decision to try and maximise returns for Sweden's taxpayers by managing and then slowly selling a pounds 5bn portfolio of property and other assets around the world.

The group was created in 1992 to take on the assets backing a string of bad loans by the Stockholm bank. In Britain they included the landmark Ark building in Hammersmith, London, inherited by Nordbanken when its developer Akelarsson collapsed during the recession, and only recently let to Seagram the Canadian drinks company, after years of standing as a reminder of the effects of the early 1990s property collapse.

The sale of the Gucci building confirms the increasing interest from German investors in the London property market. In recent years they have dominated overseas investment in the capital's shops and offices.

Securum also announced that it has put an office block near Blackfriars Bridge on the market. Friars Bridge Court, which has more than 100,000 square feet of high-specification office space, was completed in 1991.

The asking price is pounds 32.75m, representing a gross yield of 8.46 per cent, compared with the 5 per cent return achieved on the sought after Gucci building.