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JPMorgan acquires ex-Lehman Bros building in London

posted 20 Dec 2010, 07:17 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 20 Dec 2010, 07:19 ]

JPMorgan acquires the former Lehman Brothers building in London for 495 million pounds ($773.4 million US dollars) for use as the European headquarters of its investment bank from 2012.

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM (DECEMBER 20, 2010)  REUTERS - JPMorgan has bought the former Lehman Brothers building for its investment bank, it announced on Monday (December 20), while keeping its options open on plans to erect a new skyscraper nearby as its European headquarters.

The U.S. bank bought the Lehman building at 25 Bank Street in London's Canary Wharf financial district for

495 million pounds ($773.4 million US dollars), seller Canary Wharf Group (CWG) said on Monday, adding that the two groups would continue to develop the Riverside South site.

CWG which is majority owned by Songbird Estates -- said construction work would recommence immediately to bring the Riverside South development to the street level and that it had extended its development agreement with JPM until October 2016.

Shares in Songbird, whose top shareholders include Qatar's sovereign wealth fund with 20 percent and China Investment Corp with 12.6 percent, were up 3.3 percent at 140 pence by 1018GMT, ahead of the UK property stocks index which was flat.

JPMorgan said in a separate statement it had also agreed to purchase 60 Victoria Embankment, which it had been leasing since 1991 for its Treasury and Securities Services division. It did not give a price for the deal.

In September 2008, the dramatic collapse of U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers sent stock markets into freefall and left thousands of workers facing the axe.

Lehman lost billions in the credit crunch, and filed for bankruptcy after rescue efforts floundered when the U.S. government refused to help it.

Television pictures at the time showed scenes of emotional Lehman employees leaving their office clutching their belongings following the collapse.