Brazil’s Safra Acquires London Offices for $809 Million

(Corrects to remove erroneous statement that Safra holds a 50 percent stake in Banco Safra.)

Brazilian billionaire Moise Yacoub Safra paid about 500 million pounds ($809 million) to buy an office building in the City of London financial district from a group of investors that breached the terms of loans secured by the building, according to a person with knowledge of the sale.

Safra acquired Plantation Place near the Lloyd’s of London building, according to a statement. The person who disclosed the sale price declined to be identified because the information is private.

The seller was One Plantation Place Unit Trust, owned by a unit of Scottish Widows Plc, Schroder Real Estate Investment Trust Ltd. (SREI), a wealthy Indian family and Stobart Properties Ltd. Schroder and Stobart confirmed the sale today in separate statements without identifying the buyer.

British Land Co. Plc sold the 550,000 square-foot (51,100 square meter) Plantation Place to a group of investors in March 2006 for 527 million pounds. The loan financing the purchase was packaged and sold in August 2006 as commercial mortgage-backed securities maturing in 2016.

The value of Plantation Place shrank to 477 million pounds in June 2008 from 620 million pounds in March 2007 after the credit crisis caused property prices to drop. The decline triggered a violation of the loan-to-value terms of the securities in July 2008, according to notices to noteholders.

Delancey Real Estate Asset Management Ltd., which advised Safra and will manage the building declined to comment.

The price paid by Safra matches the most recent valuation of the property conducted by Knight Frank LLP.

To contact the reporter on this story: Simon Packard in London at packard@bloomberg.net; Neil Callanan in London at ncallanan@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Ross Larsen in London at rlarsen2@bloomberg.net

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