The National Pension Service (NPS) confirmed its bid for Goldman Sachs’ new headquarters in London, after media reports said that the South Korean pension fund emerged as the frontrunner to buy the building for more than £1.1 billion ($1.4 billion).
“It is true that we’re in the bidding for it, but nothing has been decided,” the NPS source told the Korean Investors on July 5. He declined to give financial details of the deal.
According to CoStar news on July 4, NPS was the lead bidder for the property among three shortlisted bidders, which include Hong Kong’s CK Asset Holdings Ltd. and Pontegadea Inversiones SL, a property company owned by Spanish billionaire and Zara owner Amancio Ortega.
Another South Korean bidder Mirae Asset Daewoo Co. Ltd. has not made it through to the second round, while South Korean conglomerate Hanwha Group backed down after not winning its investment committee approval, according to the report.
Goldman Sachs is expected to lease back the entire office space in the building on Farringdon Street which will have about 78,000 square meters, once completed.
South Korean institutional investors are flocking to the London office market, lured by the weakened pound and the attractive valuations relative to continental Europe and the United States.
Separately, NPS posted a 7.28% return on investment in 2017, its best annual return in five years, according to its statement on July 4.
By Chang Jae Yoo
<Edited by Yeonhee Kim>