London landmark snapped up following five-year battle


London’s Gherkin skyscraper has been sold to investment giant the Safra Group in a deal reportedly worth £726m.

Safra, the company controlled by Brazilian billionaire Joseph Safra, said yesterday it had acquired the Norman Foster-designed skyscraper from its receivers.

The Gherkin was put up for sale in July and was expected to fetch between £600m to £650m.

The sale marks the end of a five-year battle to hold on to the 40-storey building by the UK property company Evans Randall and a group of German retail investors in IVG Private Funds.

They bought the Gherkin for £600m in 2006 but it slipped into administration in 2009.

The building has about 20 tenants, including insurer Swiss Re, which originally owned the building.

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