London's 'Gherkin' office tower sold to Safra Group
London's "Gherkin" office tower, a landmark on the British capital's skyline, has been sold to Safra Group, the investment giant owned by Brazilian banker Joseph Safra.
The building, officially known as 30 St Mary Axe, was put up for sale in July for about £650 million ($1.
0 billion, 820 million euros) after German property firm IVG Immobilien struggled with debts linked to its own purchase of the building in 2007.
The new purchase price was not disclosed on Monday, though the Financial Times reported it had been sold for £726 million, citing sources.
IVG had bought it from insurance group Swiss Re for 600 million just prior to the global financial crisis.
"The acquisition of 30 St Mary Axe is consistent with our real estate strategy of investing in properties that are truly special -- at the best locations within great cities," Safra Group said in a statement.
"While only ten years old, this building is already a London icon that is distinguished from others in the market, with excellent value growth potential.
"Standing at 180 metres (nearly 600 feet) tall, the office building looks like a glass gherkin, rising out of the City of London financial district.
The building has featured in a number of films including boy wizard adventure "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" and Woody Allen's London-set melodrama "Match Point".
© 2014 AFP