LONDON: Korea’s National Pension Service is the lead bidder to buy Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s new London headquarters, a person with knowledge of the sale said.
Goldman is also in talks with other potential buyers and will probably decide on the winning offer next week, the person said, asking not to be identified because the process is private. CoStar News earlier reported that NPS was the frontrunner to buy the building for more than 1.1 billion pounds (US$1.4 billion), ahead of bidders including Hong Kong’s CK Asset Holdings Ltd. and Pontegadea Inversiones SL, the property company owned by billionaire Amancio Ortega.
A spokesman for Goldman Sachs declined to comment. NPS didn’t return calls and emails seeking comment outside normal office hours.
South Korean investors returned to London’s commercial property market in late 2017 after more than two years without completing a deal, according to data compiled by broker CBRE Group Inc. Rising interest rates in the US and competition for buildings in continental Europe have made property in the UK capital more attractive for Korean investors even after the Brexit vote.
When it’s completed, the building on Farringdon Street, around the corner from the existing headquarters on Fleet Street, will have about 78,000 square meters (840,000 square feet) of internal office area and be able to accommodate about 9,600 workers, according to a filing. In a tweet sent in October, Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein said the bank was still “expecting/hoping to fill it up but so much outside our control #Brexit.”