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Fosun To Sell £400M Former Murdoch London Fortress As Big Deals Start To Re-Emerge

Fosun and Resolution's Moretown scheme

Chinese investor Fosun has put the former headquarters of News International up for sale for £400M, as investors become increasingly confident putting large London offices up for sale. 

Savills has been mandated to sell the 566K SF Moretown campus of six buildings in east London, React News reported. It is one of the largest offices put up for sale in London this year. 

The building was bought in 2016 by Fosun, a Chinese conglomerate, and Resolution Property, the European property fund manager in which it owns a 60% stake. The building was bought from Landsec for £298M. 

Resolution and Fosun have leased up vacant space, rebranded the campus from its previous name of Thomas More Square, and brought in more creative and tech occupiers. 

The scheme is famous as the former home of News UK, Rupert Murdoch’s UK media operation that owns The Times and The Sun. It became famous when in the mid-1980s Murdoch moved his operations there from Fleet Street, the spiritual home of British newspapers, in order to break the control that unions had over the workers that printed his titles. The complex was nicknamed Fortress Wapping. 

Tenants at the scheme today include Gensler, IPSOS Mori, Sky TV and Handelsbanken. 

The central London office investment market is starting to come back to life after a moribund period during the various national UK lockdowns. 

Data from Savills showed investment in London was down in the first four months of the year compared to the same period in 2020; but the amount of stock under offer in the City was £2.5B at the end of April, up 29% on the previous month. A further £1B is under offer in the West End.

In April, Union Investment went under offer to buy Aldgate Tower for £500M, a 325K SF office development on the eastern fringe of the City that will be the new London HQ of BT

Elsewhere Blackstone has put Times Square, a 380K SF building in the City, up for sale for £450M; and a consortium of Korean investors has put Cannon Bridge House in the City up for sale for £320M, having bought the 283K SF building for £250M in 2018.