London's Gherkin 'Could Fetch £650m' In Sale
London's iconic Gherkin building has been put up for sale, potentially drawing buyers from around the world.
The 40-storey skyscraper - officially called 30 St Mary Axe - was designed by Lord Foster and opened in the City of London in 2004, and includes an atmospheric top-floor bar.
The landmark office building could fetch around £650m, according to experts.
The upcoming sale follows the appointment of Savills and Deloitte Real Estate as agents by the building's receivers, who took over control in April.
The building is jointly owned by investment bank Evans Randall and the German fund manager IVG, who paid around £630m for the tower in 2006 from reinsurance specialists Swiss Re.
At the time this was a record price for a building in the City, but within a few years the recession hit property prices and rental incomes and the partners faced mounting debts on the property.
Marketing of the 505,000 sq ft office building is about to start with interest expected to come from private firms and sovereign wealth funds.
Deloitte Real Estate head of City investment Jamie Olley said: "The property will appeal to a wide range of domestic and international investors and we are confident of maximising returns to the receivers and creditors."
Savills' Stephen Down said several parties had already registered their interest. He said the building could be sold by early October.
Over the past 12 months, the take-up in office space has risen as the economy has returned to growth.
According to Savills' research, over the last five and a half years central London has seen £71.1bn invested into the office and retail markets, with overseas investors accounting for £47.7bn.
The skyscraper is currently let to around 20 tenants, including Swiss Re, Standard Life and the City studios for Sky News.