Ian Scott International


Chinese insurer set to buy Heron Tower

The Beijing-based firm, which has more than CNY700bn (£72.9bn) of assets under management, is negotiating a £750m-plus deal for the 755ft building, which is synonymous with its developer, property veteran Gerald Ronson.

If a deal is agreed at that price, it would set a new record yield for City of London offices this cycle of just under 3.5%, reflecting both the premium purchasers will pay for iconic buildings and the fact that the rents in the building are largely well below current market value. The first reviews are scheduled to start towards the end of next year.

A final bidder is due to be formally selected next week and it is expected that bids could get as high as £800m. Anbang is favourite, but other Asian bidders are also circling.

Heron Tower comprises 440,000 sq ft of offices as well as two of London’s most upmarket restaurants and bars – Sushi Samba and Duck & Waffle – and the largest private aquarium in the world.

The purchase would be Anbang’s first in the UK, following its £1.2bn acquisition of New York’s Waldorf Astoria hotel from Hilton in February – its first outside China.

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