The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is leasing its entire London office to fast-growing flexible space provider WeWork, having lost a court battle to cancel its £500m rent contract in the wake of its planned move to Amsterdam post-Brexit.
WeWork is taking up the 284,000 square foot of accommodation at 30 Churchill Place in Canary Wharf as a new subtenant, replacing the EMA, which relocated to Amsterdam in March.
Earlier this year the EMA lost a landmark case for the commercial property industry ahead of Britain’s departure from the EU, when it tried to cancel on its £500m lease.
Landlord Canary Wharf won a ruling that means the EMA must comply with the terms of its rental agreement.
The agency, which said in 2017 that it would move its headquarters to Amsterdam, has more than 21 years left on its lease in Canary Wharf, where it pays roughly £13m a year for 10 floors and 900 staff.
WeWork will take a new sublease from the EMA for a term to the expiry of EMA’s lease in June 2039.
The flexible workspace giant, which has been snapping up huge swathes of commercial property in London, is commencing the fitting out and is looking to open in December this year.
Mary Finnigan, head of transactions at WeWork EMEA, said: “We’re pleased to announce this new lease agreement for WeWork in London. Canary Wharf is one of the most attractive business districts in the city, with many international companies based there. It’s a desirable location for our member businesses who are rapidly scaling as well as the large enterprise companies who now represent 40 per cent of our global membership.”
Read more: Focus on Canary Wharf
She added: “We listen to our members to find out what they’re looking for in regards to the best locations for their businesses, and we recognised the demand to have a space at Canary Wharf where our members can travel to and connect with the community who’ll be based there, as well as our 50,000 member-strong community across the UK and Ireland.”
EMA were advised by BNP Paribas Real Estate and DLA Piper, WeWork by Cushman and Wakefield and Addleshaw Goddard, and Canary Wharf Group by Clifford Chance.
Main image credit: Getty