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London's Gherkin tower up for sale in wake of IVG receivership

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IVG Immobilien’s Gherkin tower in London has been put up for sale three months after being put into receivership with Deloitte.

Savills and Deloitte Real Estate, both companies confirmed, are marketing the 505,000 sqft office tower.

Media reports suggest the asset could be sold for as much as £650m (€819m).

IVG Immobilien called in receivers in April this year as part of the German firm’s restructuring plan, with its loan-to-value ratio having risen above 90% and well above its 67% LTV covenant.

IVG’s tranche of the loan is in Swiss francs, which had appreciated against sterling by more than 60%.

IVG had a 50% stake in the 30 St Mary Axe property, held in the Euroselect 14 fund, with Evans Randall as equal partner. 

The joint venture paid £630m in 2007 for the building, using £400m of debt.

Designed by Lord Foster, the 40-storey skyscraper is currently multi-let to around 20 tenants including Swiss Re and ION Trading.

Jamie Olley, Deloitte Real Estate head of city investment, said the property provided an “attractive combination of stable and reversionary income”, with opportunities to add value via asset management.

Olley said: “The property will appeal to a wide range of domestic and international investors, and we are confident of maximising returns to the receivers and creditors.”

Earlier this month, IVG Immobilien had its insolvency plan approved by a German court, clearing the way for a €2.2bn debt reduction programme.

The plan includes a debt for equity swap – taking IVG off the stock market.

IVG said the Bonn Regional Court’s rejection of complaints against the plan by investors allowed it to proceed with restructuring.

Under the plan, IVG Immobilien and its current subsidiaries, IVG Institutional Funds and IVG Caverns, will run as separate and independently operating companies. 

IVG Immobilien will operate solely in real estate, while its Institutional Funds arm will focus on business with real estate funds for institutional investors.

Insolvency proceedings – which have lasted almost a year – will close by the end of this quarter.

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