International consortium debuts in City with office block purchase - The purchaser was represented by Gryphon Property Partners

Lloyds Chambers, an office building leased to AON for another five and a half years, was bought by a consortium led by former USA Treasury Secretary John Snow, in partnership with Fosun Property Holdings, one of China’s leading investment groups, for £64.5m.

The building, which is owned by the estate of deceased Irish property investor Patrick Rocca, provides an annual passing rent of £7.1 million for the next five years.

In January, Property Week revealed the office block had been put up for sale after the City of London Corporation had agreed in principle to a change of use to residential.

Although the offices will become obsolete by 2018 at the latest, a new scheme could hold as many as 220 units and, at values of more than £1,000/sq ft, could ultimately be worth more than £200m.

Aon is due to anchor British Land’s Cheesegrater at 122 Leadenhall Street, and will likely move prior to its lease expiry.

CBRE and Savills represented the vendor; the purchaser was represented by Gryphon Property Partners.

Stephen Pearson, senior director of Central London Capital Markets at CBRE, said: “The sale of Lloyds Chambers to yet another China-backed new entrant to the market continues the trend of a wide range of Asian capital currently focused on the London property market.

“It further demonstrates the willingness of Chinese capital to be opportunistic in identifying investments in London as well as focusing on prime assets.”


Source: Alex Therrien, Property Week