CLS Holdings’ shares crashed 5.5% this afternoon after it revealed it had sold its one-third stake in the Shard development at London Bridge at a loss of £25m.
CLS said it had sold its interest in the London Bridge Quarter project, which comprises the Shard and neighbouring New London Bridge House, to Zijaj for £30m in cash. Zijaj is believed to be a consortium of Qatari investors, linked to bank QInvest, which Property Week revealed was buying out CLS and another one-third shareholder Simon Halabi (21.12.07).
CLS said the £30m sale price reflected a loss of £25m, or 37p a share. ‘This sale has been achieved despite the significant adverse change in the commercial property and lending environment since June,’ the company said.
The sale of Halabi’s stake is expected to take place imminently. As part of the whole deal Zijaj is also expected to buy part of Irvine Sellar's one-third stake, reducing his holding in the skyscraper scheme to around 20%. This would give the Qataris an 80% share in a scheme, which has a projected end value of £1.4bn.
The funding arrangement for the Shard, which has estimated construction costs of more than £800m, could finally enable the Renzo Piano-designed scheme to be developed.