South African billionaire in talks to take over Tower 42

SOUTH African billionaire Nathan Kirsh could soon be making a comeback to the City as the new owner of the Tower 42 skyscraper.

Kirsh’s family office is understood to be in advanced talks to buy Natwest’s former headquarters on Old Broad Street, which would mark Kirsch’s first deal since selling a 29 per cent stake in property firm Minerva earlier this year at a huge profit.

Kirsh’s investment vehicle KiFin bought into the debt-laden company when the shares were at the bottom of the market at between 15p and 23p. He then launched a bid, which was rejected by shareholders as too low. Minerva was taken by a consortium led by Delancey in August.

Tower 42, which is joint-owned by LaSalle Investment Management, Blackrock’s UK property fund and Hermes Real Estate, was put up for sale again in September with a price tag of around £290m.

The owners tried to sell the tower and its four adjacent buildings last year for £300m to the chinese billionaire Joseph Lau’s Chinese Estates but the deal collapsed.

Selling agent Jones Lang LaSalle was unavailable for comment last night.