THE OWNERS of the Walbrook in the City are understood to be in talks to sell the trophy office building for as much as £600m.
Jamie Ritblat’s property company Delancey has owned the Walbrook building since 2011, when it acquired its owner Minerva for £200m.
Although now almost fully let, the Foster and Partners-designed building initially struggled to find tenants after the uncertain economic environment dampened demand among financial sector firms for new office space. It signed its first lettings in 2013, nearly three years after it was built.
Worldpay, a payment processing company, Vanguard, the American fund manager and insurance broker, Arthur J Gallagher, have all taken up space in the 445,000 square feet scheme, as well as gym chain Virgin Active.
Delancey is understood to have hired property agents Knight Frank and CBRE after receiving several approaches from potential Asian and Middle Eastern buyers, according to The Sunday Times.
Money has been flooding into the City’s commercial property market, with investment volumes hitting £13.8bn last year – the highest on record after the 2007 peak of £13.9bn, according to figures from Cushman & Wakefield.
Acquisitions of trophy buildings have been dominated by overseas buyers, with the Gherkin in the City recently selling for £726m to Brazilian investment group Safra.