Firm Owned By HK’s Richest Man Sells London Office

Firm Owned By HK’s Richest Man Sells London Office Bldg for £1.2 bil

UNITED KINGDOM – CK Asset Holdings, the holding company owned by Hong Kong’s richest man Li Ka-shing, announced on Friday that it had divest the 5 Broadgate office building in London for £1.2 billion (US$1.6 billion), reported the South China Morning Post (SCMP) on Friday evening (11 March, SGT).

The commercial property, which is currently used as the headquarters of Swiss investment bank UBS group, was previously acquired by CK Asset for £1 billion in June 2018, using the profits from the sale of The Center office tower in Hong Kong.

In a filing with the Chinese territory’s local bourse, CK Asset Holdings revealed that it’s anticipating to gain roughly £108 million from the divestment.

However, the return on investment (ROI) is larger at 45 percent or around HK$4.8 billion (US$614 million) as this included “rental income throughout the holding period, appreciation of the property value over the original cost and hedging profits relating to this investment”.

With the sale of the prime London office asset, CK Asset “will continue to look for new investment opportunities in different markets around the world, including Hong Kong and mainland [China],” disclosed Gerald Ma, a member of the firm’s Executive Committee who led the deal.

“The whole world is our potential market,” he added.

Meanwhile, the buyer of the 5 Broadgate office building in London is South Korea’s National Pension Service (NPS).

Notably, the purchase of the commercial property was one of the largest purchases made by Victor Li in 2018 after taking over as the head of the CK Group from his father, Li Ka-shing.

CK Asset purchased the then 3-year-old office tower near the Liverpool Street railway station with an overall gross floor area (GFA) of 1.2 million sq ft utilising the profits from the sale of The Center, which was picked up by a consortium of mainland Chinese and Hong Kong investors for HK$40.2 billion, making it the single most expensive property deal in the world.

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