Gherkin owner asks courts to oversee £2.7bn debt restructuring

The German real estate company that co-owns the Gherkin building has said it is seeking protection from creditors after failing to reach an agreement to restructure its debt.

IVG will apply for a Schutzschirmverfahren, whereby the courts will oversee the restructuring of its €3.2bn (£2.7bn) of debt.

IVG owns around €5bn of office buildings in Europe, including a fund with a 50 per cent stake in London’s Gherkin tower. It was once Germany's biggest property company, but suffered badly at the hands of the financial crisis.

Shares in IVG, which have lost 96 per cent of their value this year, were down around 4.8 per cent from the previous close to €0.08 at the time of writing. Today's losses peaked at around 20 per cent down to €0.06 after returning to trading following a brief suspension.

On 12 August, IVG said it was examining a proposal by shareholders that would wipe out most of the company’s share capital. But individual creditor groups - which Bloomberg says includes Cerberus Capital Management, BlackRock and Morgan Stanley - failed to come to an agreement.

Chief executive Wolfgang Schaefers said:

Despite weeks of intensive mediations and negotiation efforts on the part of IVG, the individual creditor groups were unfortunately unable to agree on a consensual solution taking into account all stakeholder interests.