Candy & Candy is vying with Exemplar Developments and Morgan Stanley for Metropole Building — home to the Ministry of Defence until three years ago — and neighbouring 10 Whitehall Place on the north bank of the Thames. The Times

The Crown Estate has put the site, which could be turned into a £700m upmarket homes and hotel scheme, up for auction and first-round bids are due this Tuesday.

Offers of £250m or more expected for the 400,000 sq ft site. Expressions of interest are understood to have come from British, American, Middle East and Indian investors and developers.