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HomeBusinessInvestingSingapore Tycoon Chua Thian Poh’s Ho Bee Land Buys London Skyscraper ‘The...

Singapore Tycoon Chua Thian Poh’s Ho Bee Land Buys London Skyscraper ‘The Scalpel’ For Over $960 Million

Ho Bee Land—controlled by billionaire Chua Thian Poh—has agreed to buy The Scalpel office tower in London’s financial district for 718 million pounds ($961 million) as the Singapore developer steps up investments in the British capital.

“London has proven to be very resilient in spite of Brexit and the pandemic,” Nicholas Chua, CEO of Ho Bee, said in a statement on Thursday. “It has been able to maintain its position as a key global financial hub with a robust office investment market. We are very excited to be able to seize this rare opportunity to acquire a landmark office tower which ticks all the boxes for quality, distinction and sustainability.”

The acquisition of The Scalpel—which got its name due to the building’s sharp angular design—will be Ho Bee’s biggest-ever overseas investment. Ho Bee said it has paid a deposit of 35.9 million pounds for the skyscraper, with the balance payable upon completion on March 7.

The 36-story The Scalpel is strategically located at the junction of Lime Street and Leadenhall Street, near The Lloyd’s of London in the city’s insurance district. The office tower has approximately 406,000 square feet of grade A office space mainly occupied by tenants from the insurance, financial, legal and technology sectors.

“With this acquisition, our total investment in London would increase to more than 2 billion pounds,” said Chua, the eldest son Ho Bee’s founder. “The Scalpel’s 10-year secure long-term income would further strengthen the group’s recurrent income base.”

Ho Bee’s prime office buildings in the European financial hub generated 64 million pounds of rental income in 2020, accounting for about half of total revenue, according to the company’s latest annual report. Founded in 1987, Singapore-listed Ho Bee has a global footprint that spans Australia, China and Europe.

Chua, 73, started his business making hooks and spikes for the logging industry before establishing Ho Bee as a luxury property developer known for building high-end condos on Sentosa Island in Singapore. With a net worth of $1.35 billion, he was ranked No. 34 when the list of Singapore’s 50 Richest was last published in August.

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