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Shard Secures Massive Middle Eastern Investment

The developer behind London Bridge Tower, better known as the Shard, appears to have finally secured the necessary investment to move the project into full-blown construction.

In a deal involving QInvest, an investment fund representing four Qatari financial groups and private investors from around the Persian Gulf has seen two of the partners in the scheme, the Halabi Family Trust and CLS Investments completely bought out with CLS turning a loss. The remaining partner, the Sellar Property Group reduced to having a 20% holding down from a third.

Press reports indicate that the scale of the deal is worth at least 1.4 billion in terms of the end value to QInvest making the project the most expensive building in the world with atotasl value of perhaps 1.75 billion pounds or 3.4748 billion U.S dollars. Assuming the 1.4 billion sum is correct then it also values the remaining share of the Sellar Property Group at 375 million.

The big challenge for the consortium of groups involved in the Shard, Teighmore, had been to raise the massive amount of money needed to build the scheme whilst facing the decreasing availability of credit on the world financial markets, squabbling between partners and predicted annual increases in construction costs of 6% per year.

The injection of capital into the scheme by QInvest eliminates the first two problems completely by providing enough funds to build the project which is estimated at having a construction cost of 800 million, and secondly to remove two of the partners leaving only the Sellar Property Group.

With two pre-lets already secured and the apartments within the building set to fetch silly prices rivaling One Hyde Park the scheme should prove highly profitable for the backers assuming they can keep the costs under control.

It makes the Shard the third major skyscraper in London to have received backing from Arabs following the Heron Tower and Bishopsgate Tower and raises the interesting question of why British bankers don't see high-rise schemes in such a positive light compared to foreigners.

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London Bridge Tower

London Bridge Tower
Shard London Bridge
Shard London Bridge