Qatari-led group completes deal to buy London's Canary Wharf

Qatar Investment Authority, Brookfield acquire banking district after $3.87bn deal for Songbird Estates
Qatari-led group completes deal to buy London's Canary Wharf
(Getty Images)
By Staff writer
Fri 24 Apr 2015 12:58 AM

Brookfield Property Partners and Qatar Investment Authority, have completed the acquisition of 100 percent of London's Canary Wharf Group through their £2.6 billion ($3.87 billion) acquisition of Songbird Estates.

Brookfield and QIA launched a joint bid to take control of Canary Wharf Group in December 2014. Just over two months later, it was announced that the joint venture partners' 350p per share offer for Songbird had become wholly unconditional.

It is expected that Songbird's shares will cease to trade on London's AIM market on April 23.

Canary Wharf's steel and glass skyscrapers, home to banks such as HSBC, Citi and JP Morgan, embody the change in London's economy in the second half of the 20th century as industry dwindled and financial services grew.

The redevelopment of the former West India Docks, which traded in everything from tobacco to bananas, was championed by 1980s Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who saw the need for more space for a financial sector booming after her "big bang" reforms.

The QIA already owned 29 percent of Songbird, which in turn owns 70 percent of Canary Wharf Group. Its partner in the deal, US investor Brookfield Property Partners, has 22 percent of Canary Wharf Group.

Ric Clark, CEO of Brookfield Property Group, said: "We are extremely pleased to have completed the acquisition of Songbird and through it, Canary Wharf Group, with our joint venture partner, QIA.

"Canary Wharf remains one of the most treasured property estates in the world. With the transaction now concluded, we look forward to working with QIA and the Canary Wharf Group management team to advance the substantial development pipeline and to realise the full potential of the site for our tenants, stakeholders and the people of London."

Sheikh Abdulla bin Mohammed Al Thani, CEO of QIA, added: "We are delighted that QIA and Brookfield have now concluded the acquisition of Songbird and Canary Wharf Group.

"We look forward to realising our partnership with Brookfield as long term investors, to support the management's strategy of pursuing further expansion through the creation of a sustainable, mixed development comprising offices, homes as well as retail and leisure space."

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