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Deloitte sells Gherkin to Brazilian billionaire

RECEIVERS from Deloitte have sold the Gherkin, one of London’s most iconic landmarks, to Brazilian billionaire Joseph Safra.

Safra, who has amassed a $16bn (£10.7bn) fortune according to Forbes, is reported to have paid more than £700m for the Norman Foster-designed building skyscraper – officially known as 30 St Mary Axe.

Deloitte’s real estate arm and Savills were jointly instructed to handle the sale after the building collapsed into receivership earlier this year.

Deloitte partners Phil Bowers, Neville Kahn and Alex Adam were appointed joint fixed charge receivers in April after its owners IVG Immobilien struggled to pay back its consortium of lenders, defaulting on debt since 2009.

Purchased for £630m in 2007 from reinsurance giant and original owners Swiss Re, its previous owners struggled to manage the multi-currency nature of the loan, with adverse interest rates and currency movements effectively increasing the liability.

The Safra Group said, “The acquisition of 30 St Mary Axe is consistent with our real estate strategy of investing in properties that are truly special – at the best locations within great cities. While only ten years old, this building is already a London icon that is distinguished from others in the market, with excellent value growth potential. We intend to make the building even better and more desirable through active ownership that will lead to a range of enhancements that will benefit tenants.”

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