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London’s Gherkin tower goes into receivership

April 24, 2014

LONDON (AP) — Accountancy firm Deloitte LLP said Thursday it has been appointed receiver of one of London’s most iconic buildings, the Gherkin.

The 41-story office tower in London’s financial district is co-owned by Germany’s IVG Immobilien AG, which went into bankruptcy protection last year.

Deloitte said Thursday that the building had run into difficulties due to its “complex, multicurrency capital structure.” Its debt burden has risen through having a loan partly in Swiss francs, whose value has risen substantially against the pound in recent years.

IVG Immobilien bought the building for 600 million pounds in 2007, but has struggled with debts since the 2008 financial crisis.

Deloitte’s Neville Kahn said “lenders were reluctant to appoint a receiver but felt they had no choice due to the ongoing defaults” since 2009.

Kahn said the receivers’ aim was to preserve the value of a “truly exceptional building” and to ensure there would be no interruption of services to tenants.

The Norman Foster-designed tower, nicknamed the Gherkin for its distinctive pickle-like shape, houses offices of insurance company Swiss Re.

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