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AXA exchanges on London’s Pinnacle for £220m

The real estate division of French insurance giant AXA has exchanged contracts for the half-built 22 Bishopsgate in a deal worth a reported £220m.

Paris-based AXA Real Estate Investment Managers, the real estate division of insurance company AXA, is set to acquire 22 Bishopsgate, from Pinnacle No 1 Limited, which is 90 percent owned by Saudi private wealth manager Sedco and 10 percent by project Kuwait-based developers Arab Investment, to develop a new building in partnership with London-based property developer Lipton Rogers Developments.

The development, formerly known as The Pinnacle, stalled in early 2012 when finance for the project ran dry.

In the all-equity transaction, reportedly valued at £220 million (€299 million; $338 million), AXA Real Estate, acting as development and asset manager on behalf of an international consortium of investors, has retained Lipton Rogers as its developer. The pair intend to develop a new landmark tower, designed by leading architects PLP.

Plans for the new tower will show more than 1 million square feet of prime offices, with some retail space as well as restaurant and bar space and a public viewing gallery at the top of the building, according to AXA. Pinnacle No 1 Limited will retain an interest in the top floors of the building which will comprise a leisure offer with separate ground floor access.

A planning application for the new 22 Bishopsgate tower will be submitted within the next few months. Construction is expected to commence by the end of 2015 with completion scheduled for the end of 2018.

“The project has enormous potential and we believe that the combination of AXA Real Estate’s strong track record of development in London and internationally, together with the long term prospects of London as a world leading city and international finance centre, present a compelling investment opportunity,” Anne Kavanagh, global head of asset management and ttransactions at AXA Real Estate, commented.

AXA Real Estate, on behalf of the investors’ consortium, was advised by JLL and CBRE advised Pinnacle No 1 Limited.