Blackstone Sells $352 Million London Office to Korean Venture

(Bloomberg) -- Blackstone Group LP has exchanged contracts to sell the headquarters of IG Group Holdings Plc in the City of London financial district to a group of Korean investors.

A venture between South Korea’s Mirae Asset Daewoo Co. and NH Investment and Securities Co. will pay 248 million pounds ($352 million) for Cannon Bridge House, according to a statement Monday. The deal was led by asset managers FG Asset Management and the Valesco Group.

“The investment backed by Korea’s two largest securities houses is a first move for both institutions in London, demonstrating the appeal of prime City of London assets that combine both long income and asset management upside,” Valesco Group Chief Executive Officer Shiraz Jiwa said in the statement.

A deal would bolster confidence that properties in London can still attract overseas investors even as the U.K.’s departure from the European Union looms. Blackstone is in the process of selling about 1.4 billion pounds of offices in the capital after the firm modernized the buildings and leased space at higher rents. The private-equity firm bought Cannon Bridge for about 170 million pounds in 2015.

Rising interest rates that have pushed up the cost of borrowing in the U.S. and record prices in other large European cities have made the U.K. capital attractive again to buyers from Korea. After two years with no deals, they spent 311 million pounds on London commercial real estate in 2017, the most since 2013, data compiled by CBRE Group Inc. show.

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