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Confidence in London prompts Samsung to rethink £450m City sale

By James Buckley - Wednesday, May 24, 2017 14:30

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South Korean investment fund Samsung Life Insurance has opted not to sell the 400,000 sq ft headquarters of Commerzbank in the City of London due to its confidence in the London market, which has prompted the group to hold the asset for the longer term, CoStar News can reveal.

CBRE and Knight Frank were instructed to prepare the building at 30 Gresham Street for sale in March but Samsung has since rethought its decision to sell prior to the building being formally launched.

While no asking price had been set, it is thought the development - Samsung's remaining property asset in the capital - would command a price tag of around £450m.

A statement on behalf of the joint agents read: “We can confirm that Samsung have decided not to bring to market their ownership in 30 Gresham Street. The quality of the asset and strength of the London office market has encouraged Samsung to maintain its exposure and continue to work through the business plan and asset management initiatives.”

Separately, in the West End, a joint venture between Angola’s central bank and LaSalle Investment Management has opted against selling a global €1bn property portfolio, which included the trophy asset, 23 Savile Row. JLL was instructed to prepare the portfolio for sale but the global recovery in crude oil prices has eased some liquidity concerns for the Angolan fund, removing the need to sell the assets.

LaSalle Investment Management and Quantum Global Real Estate, the Angolan bank’s advisor, agreed a deal in June 2012 to buy 23 Savile Row for £210m, reflecting a yield of less than 4%.

Whilst Samsung has carried out some asset management at 30 Gresham Street, the overall passing rent is still believed to be only £45 per sq ft, comparing favourably to prime City rents, which now exceed £70 per sq ft. Investec continues to expand within the building, having taken a further 150,000 sq ft from Commerzbank last year.

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