Merrill Lynch confirmed today it has sold its European headquarters in the City of London to GIC Real Estate in a £480m sale and leaseback transaction.

It said an affiliate of GIC Real Estate, the property investment arm of the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation, would buy the scheme at 2 King Edward Street, which features two of the largest trading floors in Europe and houses around 4,000 employees. Merrill Lynch has agreed a 15 year lease with renewal rights extending ‘significantly beyond the initial term’.

Dr Seek Ngee Huat, president at GIC Real Estate, said: ‘This property was a compelling investment opportunity...We view it as a strategic acquisition which meets our investment objective of maintaining a diversified portfolio of long-term assets across all property sectors in gateway cities around the world.’

Merrill Lynch was advised by its real estate investment banking team and GIC Real Estate was advised by DTZ