BT makes sale call at London office

BT is preparing to sell off its City of London headquarters in a sale-and-leaseback deal that would take advantage of a resilient commercial property market. This year, the FTSE 100 telecoms group announced plans to shed 13,000 jobs over the next three years, to leave its City headquarters and to adjust its property portfolio. The strategy forms part of an attempt to “modernise the business” and to shore up its finances amid falling sales and stagnant profits. The former state-owned company is close to appointing advisers to sell the building in St Paul’s, which it has occupied since 1985. BT is expected to seek about £200 million with a two to three-year lease guaranteed by the company. The City property market has continued to attract record investment since the Brexit vote. About £2.6 billion was traded via eight deals in only ten days in the City in June, according to research by CBRE, the property adviser. These included the £1 billion sale of UBS’s headquarters at 5 Broadgate to a subsidiary of CK Asset Holdings, a Hong Kong property developer, and the £650 million sale of Ropemaker Place to Ho Bee Land, the Singaporean investor.

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