February 18, 2019
LONDON (Reuters) – Citigroup is in talks to buy the tower housing its European headquarters in London’s Canary Wharf district, which is on the market with a price tag of around 1.2 billion pounds ($1.55 billion), a source familiar with the matter said.
The tower at 25 Canada Square, which already houses many of the bank’s 6,000 London-based staff, was put up for sale in October by AGC Equity Partners. The source said a deal had yet to be agreed, with Citi unlikely to offer the full asking price.
Should Citi agree the purchase, with a decision likely in the next couple of months, the bank would look to move staff currently based in a second building in the area, 33 Canada Square, to the larger tower, the source said.
News of the talks was earlier reported by the Financial Times.
Such a move would be in line with Citi’s strategy of buying buildings in locations where it has and intends to retain a presence, and follows a deal in 2016 to buy the group’s New York office, the source said.
The deal would be a boost for London’s commercial property market ahead of Brexit. Around 60 percent of Citi’s Europe-based staff already work outside of Britain, which has meant very few – around 60 – were expected to be moved as part of preparations for Britain’s exit from the European Union, the source said.
(Reporting by Simon Jessop; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)