420 Million Bottles Of Oyster Sauce Buys You The £1.2B Walkie Talkie
The Hong Kong company that invented oyster sauce is in advanced talks to buy the Walkie Talkie skyscraper in the City of London, according to a report on Bloomberg.
Lee Kum Kee Group is in talks to buy the 690K SF tower in a deal that could value the building at as much as £1.2B.
With a bottle of Lee Kum lee oyster sauce costing £2.86 at Waitrose, the purchase equates to the sale of around 420 million bottles.
The deal is complicated and the terms might change. Originally only a 50% stake in the building was put up for sale by a consortium comprising Canary Wharf Group, China Investment Corp., Qatar Investment Authority, Morgan Stanley and Brookfield. It sought £600M for the stake. CBRE and Eastdil Secured are advising on that process.
But Land Securities, which owns the other 50% of the building, had indicated it would sell if the right offer came in. So it remains to be seen if Lee Kum Kee will buy all or half of the building, or none at all.
Earlier this year the FT reported the company had made an unsolicited bid to buy the Gherkin office tower for £1B.
Wealthy Asian buyers have been the only game in town for the sellers of large trophy London office properties, helping to support values for prime assets. Earlier this year Hong Kong company CC Land bought the Cheesegrater office tower for £1.15B.