Chinese insurer Ping An pays £260m to buy futuristic Lloyd’s of London building

8 July 2013

Chinese insurer Ping An has paid £260m to acquire the futuristic City of London landmark building which houses the Lloyd’s of London insurance market.

The famously futuristic Lloyd’s of London insurance building, which was opened in 1986, was designed by architect Richard Rogers to look like the Pompidou arts centre in Paris with the pipes, lifts and functions of the building all situated on the outside.

The distinctive glass-and-steel Lloyd’s building, which is lit up in purple neon at night, had been owned by German asset management fund Commerz Real, which purchased it for £231m in 2005.

The Lloyd’s lease on the site, at One Lime Street in the City of London, UK, expires in 2031.

Roland Holschuh, a board member of Commerz Real, said: “We are delighted with the transaction and it has been a major success for our investors. The current liquidity and investor demand within the London market presented an ideal time for us to seek an exit in-line with our original business plan.”

China has been slower than its Asian neighbours to make significant property investments overseas. The most notable before the current deal was the £250m acquisition last year of Deutsche Bank’s London headquarters by the China Investment Corporation (CIC), the country’s £410bn sovereign wealth fund. But as the country continues it rise up the global economic league, more such deals can be expected in the future.

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