Lloyd’s of London’s iconic headquarters building has been sold for £260 million in a deal that is likely to spark a wave of property takeovers by Chinese companies.
A German fund managed by Commerz Real has sold the tower to Chinese insurance giant Ping An in a deal that represents a rental yield of 6.1 per cent.
Commerz Real bought the insurance market’s HQ, which was designed by Richard Rogers and opened in 1986, for £231m in 2005. Lloyd’s lease on the site in One Lime Street expires in 2031.
Jon Crossfield, a central London director of property firm Savills, which handled yesterday’s deal, said: “This is a potentially landmark transaction, given it is the first by a Chinese insurance company overseas.
“It is a high-profile and confident entry to the market for them and further illustrates the dominance of overseas investors in London at present.”
Regulatory changes that ease restrictions on mainland Chinese firms investing in overseas property are set to add to the flood of money targeting the best sites in London and other European cities like Frankfurt and Paris.