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Qatar takes control of London’s Canary Wharf

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A Qatari-led effort to buy London’s Canary Wharf has succeeded, after Songbird Estates – the company that owns the financial district – accepted the bid on Friday (30 January).

A Songbird statement acknowledged that joint bidders the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) and Brookfield Property Partners had succeeded in securing support from 65 per cent of shareholders. Combined with QIA and Brookfield’s existing shareholdings in Songbird, this took support for the offer to 93.4 per cent. The deal values Songbird at about £2.6bn (US$3.9bn, €3.5).

The deal offers a major boost to Qatar’s investment portfolio, which also inclides stakes in The Shard, Harrods department store, the London 2012 Olympic Village and the HSBC tower. QIA was founded in 2005 by the state of Qatar to help its economy by investing in a diverse array of businesses, outside of the country's huge oil and gas resources.

The mixed-use Canary Wharf complex houses more than 100,000 workers in its 35 office buildings, while there are also four shopping malls on the estate, the Reebok Sports Club, as well as a soon-to-be completed leisure complex.

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A Qatari-led effort to buy London’s Canary Wharf has succeeded, after Songbird Estates – the company that owns the financial district – accepted the bid on Friday (30 January).
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Songbird Estates has accepted a £2.6bn takeover bid for Canary Wharf / Shutterstock.com / Richard Barnes