SAFRA GROUP TO PURCHASE LONDON GHERKIN SKYSCRAPER
Brazil’s banking tycoon Joseph Safra is expanding his empire in London by buying London’s Gherkin skyscraper. Safra, Brazil’s second wealthiest man has an estimated net worth of $12.2 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. The deal which is estimated at $1.2 billion comes after the previous owners lost control of the skyscraper because of mounting debt, Safra Group said in a statement. Safra Group said the deal was consistent with its real estate strategy of investing in properties that are truly special - at the best locations within great cities. “This building is already a London icon that is distinguished from others in the market with excellent valuegrowth potential. We intend to make the building even better and more desirable through active ownership that will lead to a range of enhancements that will benefit tenants,” the group said. The Gherkin tower at 30 St. Mary Axe has become one of London’s best-known landmarks ever since it opened a decade ago. Its tenants include reinsurer Swiss Re Ltd. and Kirkland & Ellis LLP, a U.S. law firm.