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Wells Fargo Buys New $396M London HQ

Brexit

Completing what could easily be one of the largest commercial real estate deals in the UK since the Brexit vote, Wells Fargo has snatched up a new London-based building for its headquarters. The acquisition takes advantage of Brexit’s effect on the UK’s plummeting pound, though the company did not confirm whether that played a role in the decision.

The S.F.-based bank bought the 227k SF office, located in London’s main financial district, from HB Reavis in Slovak for $395.6M. The building is under construction and will be complete fall 2017. Wells Fargo’s 850 London-based employees, currently spread out in four offices, will consolidate into the one in 2018, the Wall Street Journal reports. 

The UK’s commercial real estate sector has been struggling since the referendum vote and many major asset managers have ceased trading on their funds due to investor panic. A bank spokeswoman declined to comment on whether the pound's decline in value factored into the acquisition, but the bank's European president says the new HQ will allow it to “more efficiently and effectively manage operations.” [WSJ]