Friday 20 November 2020 4:13 pm

BP to sell London headquarters to Hong Kong investment firm for £250m

BP has announced the sale of its London headquarters to Hong Kong investment firm Lifestyle International for £250m.

The oil giant, which is aiming to sell $25bn of assets by 2025, will lease the 1 St James’s Square property back for two years.

Read more: BP swings back to profit but coronavirus weighs on demand

BP, led by chief executive Bernard Looney, has already divested or agreed a deal on half of its target, as it seeks to shrink its debt and shift to low carbon energy investments.

In August it was reported that BP was hunting for a buyer for its London office. 

At the time the property was given an expected price tag of £300m, meaning today’s sale announcement is £50m short of the predicted value.

The oil giant employs 6,500 staff across its offices in the capital and in Sunbury-on-Thames in Surrey. 

The outbreak of coronavirus has triggered a permanent shift in the way companies approach working patterns.

Looney said earlier this year that the FTSE 100 company will move to a more “hybrid work style”, balancing home and office working.

BP will take a smaller headquarters when it leaves St James’s, the Sunday Times, which first reported news of the deal this summer, said.

Read more: Premier Oil seeks to lower price of BP purchases for a second time

It has sold and leased back on a long term basis its offices in Houston, Texas and Sunbury.

“This was a trend that started before Covid but has been accelerated by Covid,” a source told the newspaper.