HSBC has confirmed it will take control of its tower in Canary Wharf from troubled Spanish property giant Metrovacesa.
In a statement made today, the bank said: ‘HSBC and Metrovacesa have agreed that HSBC will secure the title of its global headquarters at 8 Canada Square in London, superseding the existing sale and leaseback agreement between the parties.’
HSBC agreed the sale and leaseback of the tower with Metrovacesa in a £1.09bn deal, in May 2007. The initial deal was based on the bank taking a 20-year lease at an initial rent of £43.5m. This reflected a net initial yield of 3.8%.
The new agreement sees HSBC purchase 100% of investment vehicle Project Maple II BV, whose main asset is the tower, through subsidiary HSBC Property Holdings, for £838m. The bank said: ‘As a result of this transaction, a gain of approximately £250m will be recognised in HSBC’s income statement for the second half of 2008.’
David Hodgkinson, group chief operating officer of HSBC said: ‘Clearly the market has deteriorated significantly since we agreed the sale in spring 2007. It was important to work with the client, Metrovacesa, to resolve the funding issue which had arisen. 8 Canada Square is a landmark building and this transaction is in the best interests of both parties and HSBC shareholders.’
The agreement between HSBC and Metrovacesa tops off a tumultuous year for the Spanish company which has seen it struggle to meet its debt obligations. According to JP Morgan research released in October, the company had €1.7bn (£1.47bn) of debt to repay within a year.
For more on this story see today’s Property Week.