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The Cheesegrater’s new owner wants to buy more “iconic” London skyscrapers

The Chinese property giant which bought the Cheesegrater tower, the tallest building in the City of London, for £1.15bn in March is eyeing more City skyscrapers.

CC Land, a Hong Kong-listed company controlled by Chinese billionaire Cheung Chung-kiu, snapped up the Leadenhall Building in the second-biggest ever sale of a UK building earlier this year.

The property giant’s deputy chairman Dickie Wong told City A.M. that CC Land is on a look out for more iconic London buildings to add to its portfolio.

“The City offers a lot of opportunities for us as there are a lot of new developments here. We would like to buy iconic buildings and there aren’t too many around apart from the City area,” he said.

Read more: London still has the world’s fifth most expensive skyscrapers

CC Land is also rumoured to be mulling a bid for the City’s Walkie Talkie skyscraper. Wong did not comment on an impending deal but said that the property giant “will keep on looking for promising investment opportunities”.

“We may consider buying a trophy building or good-quality development projects,” Wong said.

He also revealed that CC Land had to go through a rigorous bidding process for the Cheesegrater as British Land and Oxford Properties, previous owners of the building, were selling only 50 per cent of the skyscraper but that subsequently evolved into CC Land acquiring the whole building.

“We were among the very few to be selected. The competition was quite tough,” Wong said.

The CC Land deputy chairman added that the slump in the value of the pound following last year’s Brexit vote has made London all the more attractive to the property firm.

“Had it not been for the Brexit situation, we believe that we would not have had the opportunity to buy the Cheesegrater. The devaluation of the pound makes London buildings very attractive for us. The other reason we bought the iconic building is that we continue to see London as the number one financial centre in the whole of Europe.”

Speaking about the impact of last week’s General Election on investment decisions, Wong said: “We are here for the very long-term. Short-term market volatility and political uncertainty are bound to happen everywhere. We think London is the number one financial centre and will remain one in the years to come.”




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