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China's LKK to buy London's "Walkie Talkie" skyscraper
[LONDON] Chinese herbal health products maker LKK Health Products Group Ltd said on Thursday it would buy the "Walkie Talkie" skyscraper in London from Land Securities Group plc and Canary Wharf Group plc for £1.28 billion(S$2.28 billion).
London has emerged as a hot property market for foreign investors, including those from Hong Kong and China, who have piled in after Britain's vote to leave the European Union weakened sterling.
Chinese property magnate Cheung Chung-kiu's CC Land Holdings Ltd agreed in March to buy a London skyscraper, that has been given the nickname "Cheesegrater" and owned by British Land and Oxford Properties, for £1.15 billion.
For LKK Health Products Group, the deal to buy the "Walkie Talkie" building is its first outside of Hong Kong and China.
The skyscraper, developed as a joint venture between Land Securities and Canary Wharf Group in 2010, is located at 20 Fenchurch Street.
The property, designed by architect Rafael Viñoly, is known for its Sky Garden, which has become a tourist attraction.
Land Securities, Britain's largest listed property developer, said it would receive £641 million from the sale. It said it would return £475 million to shareholders, with the rest used to repay debt.
Land Securities, whose shares were up 2.1 per cent in early trading, said its half of the property share was last valued at £567.5 million as of March 31.