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Former Bear Stearns London HQ collapses into insolvency

Former Bear Stearns London HQ collapses into insolvency

The owner of 5 Churchill Place in Canary Wharf was in the process of seeing the site's management company forced to call in administrators.
The London building once occupied by Bear Stearns, one of the investment banking casualties of the 2008 banking crisis, has itself been forced to call in administrators.

Sky News understands that the Chinese owner of 5 Churchill Place in Canary Wharf was on Tuesday in the process of seeing the 319,000 square foot building crash into insolvency proceedings.

A real estate executive said that FTI Consulting, the restructuring firm, was expected to be appointed to oversee the administration of 5 Churchill Place Management Company Limited.

The 12-storey building was bought by Cheung Kei Group, a Chinese property developer, in 2017, for a reported £270m.

It was previously owned by a vehicle controlled by the businessman Wafic Said, and before that was owned by Canary Wharf Group, on whose estate the building sits.

The latest development is likely to spur further questions about commercial real estate values in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, and in particular about the prospects for Canary Wharf office blocks.

5 Churchill Place was occupied by Bear Stearns prior to its demise, and then by JP Morgan, which had acquired the remnants of Bear Stearns during the crisis of 15 years ago.

In March, Bloomberg News reported that Lloyds Banking Group was attempting to sell a loan secured against the Canary Wharf building.

One property insider said the objective of the process was that both the property manager and asset manager remained in place to ensure the smooth running of the site.

BNP Paribas is understood to hold the former role, with JLL holding the latter.

Nobody involved in the administration could be reached for comment.
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