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Chinese group to buy London Cheesegrater Tower

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An investment company of Chinese property magnate Cheung Chung Kiu is set to buy the London skyscraper nicknamed the Cheesegrater for about £1.02 billion (S$1.77 billion) from owners British Land Co and Oxford Properties Group Inc, CoStar News reported, without saying where it got the information.

[LONDON] An investment company of Chinese property magnate Cheung Chung Kiu is set to buy the London skyscraper nicknamed the Cheesegrater for about £1.02 billion (S$1.77 billion) from owners British Land Co and Oxford Properties Group Inc, CoStar News reported, without saying where it got the information.

The deal would be the biggest single property purchase in the UK since 2014, CoStar reported late on Monday. Bloomberg reported earlier that Cheung's Hong Kong-based property vehicle, C C Land, was in talks to buy British Land's 50 per cent stake in the tower. The Chinese company beat rival bidders Korea Investment Corp. and Temasek Holdings of Singapore to secure the deal, CoStar reported.

British Land and Toronto-based Oxford Properties are in advanced talks to sell the building, the UK real estate investment trust said in a statement Tuesday, without naming the buyer. It is not certain that these discussions will lead to the sale of the building, according to the statement. British Land's shares rose as much as 1.7 per cent to the highest in more than a month. The REIT declined to comment beyond the statement and Oxford Properties declined to comment. CC Land was not immediately available for comment.

The Leadenhall Building, as the property is formally known, has achieved record rents for its district of more than £100 a square foot and is leased to tenants including Aon Plc and Amlin Plc. British Land plans to use the money raised from the sale to finance the construction of an office building at the Broadgate complex, next to Liverpool Street railway station.

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Chinese and Hong Kong investors spent £2.9 billion - more than buyers from any other region - on central London offices in 2016, broker Knight Frank said in a Feb 1 report. C C Land agreed last month to buy an office building in the UK capital for HK$2.9 billion (S$525 million).

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