Kuwait buys BoA European HQ for $600m

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The Kuwait government has completed its acquisition of Bank of America’s European headquarters for GBP£385m (US$600m) from the private equity group Evans Randall, it was reported.

The sale of London's 5 Canada Square marks one of the most valuable office transactions in London since the start of the global financial downturn and highlights the increasing interest from Middle Eastern sovereign wealth funds in prime office space in the British capital.

Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA), the Gulf state’s sovereign wealth fund, has the opportunity to double the height of the site, which is leased to Credit Suisse until October 2027, and in doing so double the size of the floor space, Property Investor Europe said.

Evans Randall acquired the property in 2007 for GBP£452m with borrowings of GBP£354m just as property prices slumped in the wake of the global financial crisis. The group renegotiated its debts and was forced to reduce the cost of the property.

KIA, which has an estimated US$300bn of assets under management, also owns the Willis Building, the fourth largest office building in the City of London, and 60 Threadneedle Street.

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