Chinese firm CC Land confirmed it is in talks to buy the tallest building in City of London for 1.02 billion pounds ($1.26 billion), in the largest Chinese investment in the United Kingdom's real estate market if the deal is completed successfully, after a report in the Daily Telegraph.
Hong-Kong listed CC Land is controlled by Chinese property magnate Cheung Chung-kiu, one of the largest players in the real estate market in Chongqing.
The tower the company seeks to buy is 122 Leadenhall Street, widely known as the "Cheesegrater" for its shape.
CC Land is seeking to buy out both British Land and Canada's Oxford Properties, joint venture partners in the 225-meter-high building, according to the report.
British Land, which owns 50 per cent of the Cheesegrater said it and Oxford Properties, which owns the other 50 per cent, were in advanced discussions regarding the possible sale of their interests in the Leadenhall Building.
"It is not certain that these discussions will lead to a sale of the building," according to British Land.
CC Land said in an announcement on Wednesday that the board of the company noted that there has been media coverage in relation to a potential acquisition of the Leadenhall Building, and "the board would like to inform the market that the company is in advanced discussions with respect to the potential acquisition of the Leadenhall Building and the company will make a further announcement if and as appropriate".
No formal agreement has yet been entered into with respect to the potential acquisition, so the potential acquisition may or may not materialize, the announcement said.
In January, CC Land acquired One Kingdom Street in Paddington for 292 million pounds.
Analysts said that Chinese investors have been actively spending on properties in London since the beginning of the year, which reflects their intention to diversify their asset portfolio globally, particularly when prices in the UK market are at a level they find adequate.
According to research by Savills, a London-based real estate services provider, Chinese investors spent 805 million pounds on property in London's West End in January.