Li Ka-shing‘s property flagship is said to be considering a sale of UBS AG’s London headquarters, according to a Bloomberg report on Thursday.
CK Asset Holdings is reportedly in talks with multiple buyers for 5 Broadgate, a Class A office building adjacent to Liverpool Street Train and Underground Station. The company acquired the property for £ 1 billion ($ 1.4 billion) in 2018, just a month after Li’s eldest son Victor replaced his father as chairman and managing director.
The Hong Kong-listed developer would not sell the property if the bids did not exceed the purchase price, the report said.
UBS is tied to 5 Broadgate until 2035, Real Estate Investment Trust British Land said in a 2018 statement. With the completion of the office building in 2015, the Swiss investment bank moved into the 700,000 square meter area. The property offers space for 5000 people on 12 floors.
CK Asset has not yet reached an agreement with any of the potential buyers, Bloomberg reported. CK Asset did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The potential sale of the property comes amid rising office demand in Central London and the City of London following the easing of Covid-19 restrictions and the successful launch of the vaccine.
Total demand in the City of London rose 6% to 10.1 million square feet in April, according to UK property services company Savills. Take-up of office space in the city also topped 337,000 square feet in April, the highest since a national lockdown was first imposed in March last year.
However, the city also saw the lowest number of deals year-over-year in April, the report said. The average rent for a Grade A office in the area was £ 62.8 for the same month, down 12.4% from £ 71.7 last year.
CK Asset is Lis Imperium’s real estate arm. The company has its business in Hong Kong, mainland China, Singapore and the UK. After Li handed over the management of CK Asset and CK Hutchison to Victor in 2018, he worked as a senior advisor for both companies. The 92-year-old remains the richest person in Hong Kong with a net worth of $ 35.2 billion Advance Guide’ Real-time billionaires.