Credit Suisse in sale-leaseback deal

The Swiss bank has reportedly agreed to sell its London office at 20 Columbus Courtyard to a Lebanese consortium led by M1 Real Estate.

Credit Suisse has reportedly agreed to sell one of its Canary Wharf buildings for more than £150 million (€164.3 million; $245.5 million) in a sale-leaseback deal, according to the Financial Times.

The Swiss bank is believed to be selling 20 Columbus Courtyard in London’s Docklands to a consortium of Lebanese investors, led by M1 Real Estate, as part of its plan to dispose of non core real estate assets. The bank is also assessing the sale-leaseback of its larger office at One Cabot Square, Canary Wharf.

Last March M1 Real Estate, based in Monaco, acquired New York City’s Argonaut Building and told PERE at the time the firm planned to invest more than $800 million in global commercial real estate over a 24-month period. M1 was unavailable for comment at press time.

M1 Real Estate chief executive officer Moustapha El-Solh said last March the firm would target “irreplaceable” trophy assets because they provided “sustainable income”, even in a downturn.

“We have a big appetite for trophy buildings that are actually occupied and income generated and/or have an upside/development angle,” he said.

The FT report said the Columbus Courtyard deal attracted more than 25 bids from rival investors, most from overseas.