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Tue 3 Sep 2013 10:07 AM

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Qatar eyeing towers in Frankfurt, London

Gulf state could buy The Squire, the Gherkin from insolvent German company: report

Qatar eyeing towers in Frankfurt, London

Qatar’s ruling Al Thani family is reportedly in talks to buy a massive Frankfurt Airport office complex and one of London’s most famous office towers, the Gherkin, for a combined €1.55bn ($2.05bn).

The properties are owned by insolvent German company IVG Immobilien AG (IVG), which is seeking to sell off equity to pay down €3.2bn worth of debt accumulated during a massive expansion.

The Frankfurt office block, The Squaire, has a price tag of €850m, while the company’s trophy tower the Gherkin is worth €700m, according to Property Investor Europe magazine, which quoted German weekly business magazine WirtschaftsWoche.

IVG was once Germany’s biggest publicly held property company, with about €5bn worth of office buildings across Europe and about €15bn worth of real estate it manages for private and institutional clients, including a fund that owns 50 percent of the Gherkin tower, according to Bloomberg.

Qatar already owns several prominent European properties, including Harrod’s department store and Chelsea Barracks in London.