Sugar sells trophy City site

LORD SUGAR has sold a prize building in the City of London for a record price to a Dubai-based tycoon.

The Amstrad founder and Apprentice star received £80m for the Sugar Building next to St Paul’s Cathedral — dubbed the Threepenny Bit for its distinctive octagonal shape — from a conglomerate run by Easa Saleh Al Gurg.

Sugar sold IBM’s base on London’s South Bank to Al Gurg two years ago.

The deal illustrates the continued appetite for trophy London buildings despite the slowdown in China.

The sale has netted a juicy profit for Sugar’s family property company, Amsprop. He bought the Threepenny Bit from Kuwait’s sovereign wealth fund for £20m three years ago and spent £9m on refurbishment before leasing it to a serviced office provider last month. Amsprop was advised by the law firm Kingsley Napley.

Sugar’s son, Daniel, said the sale was “really not something we had envisaged doing”, but that “given the unprecedented rent and investment yield achieved, we reluctantly agreed”.

He added: “Amsprop is now sitting on an enormous cash pile and our challenge is to try and utilise that for other opportunities.”

Most of the 68-year-old Sugar’s wealth is thought to be tied up in property, but he has sold a string of sites recently — including, earlier this year, Burberry’s old base on London’s Haymarket to a Qatari investor.

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