One of London's most iconic buildings has been sold for just shy of £1.3bn – to a Hong Kong-based herbal medicine maker.
Land Securities said today its joint venture with Canary Wharf Group had sold the Walkie Talkie, known officially as 20 Fenchurch Street, to LKK Health Products Group for £1.28bn.
Canary Wharf put its 50 per cent stake in the 34 storey building up for sale back in March. At the time, it was expected to go for £1.2bn.
In May it was speculated Chinese billionaire Cheung Chung Kiu, the owner of Hong Kong-listed CC Land which bought the Cheesegrater for £1.15bn in March, was hoping to snap up the Walkie Talkie as well.
But today Rob Noel, Land Securities' chief executive, cited the "exceptional price" offered for the building.
"Our decision to sell 20 Fenchurch Street at an exceptional price and return cash to shareholders reflects our disciplined approach to the use of capital," he said.
"The building has been an immensely successful project for Landsec and our partners… This sale crystallises the significant value we have created at 20 Fenchurch Street."
The building, which comprises 671,000 sq ft of fully-let office space and the so-called Sky Garden public area at the top, was completed in 2014.
Land Securities said it will return £475m of the £634.5m it nets from the deal to shareholders in the form of a 60p per share payment, which will be accompanied by a share consolidation in late September.