BP Sells London HQ For A Record Price Of £250m
UNITED KINGDOM – Oil and gas (O&G) giant BP affirmed that it has divested its head office in the capital’s historic St. James’s Square for £250 million, which it claimed is “a record price for this area of London,” according to a recent report from The Times.
The company also proclaimed that having and operating a large office in central London is “expensive, unnecessary and out of step with modern corporate practice.”
Peter Mather, the O&G giant’s country head for the UK, stated that the transaction enabled it to “realise the value we have tied up in the property, focus on our strengths and respond flexibly to the needs of our business.”
But the company isn’t totally ditching the headquarters yet as it has inked an agreement with the new owner to lease back the office building over the next 2 years to give it ample time to finalise the work arrangements for its employees, as well as “to reimagine how and where a reinvented BP should be headquartered”.
The new arrangement for its staff will most likely involve a blend of working from home or office, as the O&G giant announced in June that it will let go of 10,000 employees across the globe amidst weak oil and gas prices.
Roughly 500 workers are housed in the commercial property measuring 11,148 sq m that was originally acquired by BP for £110 million in 2001.
Meanwhile, the buyer is Lifestyle International, a department store chain owner controlled by Thomas Lau, the brother of Hong Kong real estate tycoon Joseph Lau.
Earlier this month, Bloomberg reported that the purchaser offered £235 million for the commercial property.