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Canary Wharf, Qatar Buy Shell’s London Base for $490 Million

Royal Dutch Shell Plc sold most of its London headquarters campus to Canary Wharf Group Plc and a unit of Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund for 300 million pounds ($490 million).

Canary Wharf, which developed the former docks in east London of the same name, and Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Co. bought Shell Centre to redevelop the 5.25-acre (2.12 hectares) site near Waterloo railroad station into offices, shops and apartments, according to a statement. Shell’s 27-story office tower at the center of the complex wasn’t included.

Shell, Europe’s largest oil company, will lease one of the buildings planned for the site, taking 210,000 square feet (19,510 square meters) of space. The sale is contingent on the project winning planning approval within three years.

Shell is already a tenant at Canary Wharf, leasing 187,000 square feet at 40 Bank Street on a 15-year contract since June 2010. It pays 37.50 pounds a square foot in rent a year, although it negotiated a three-and- a-half year rental waiver.

Canary Wharf is controlled by Songbird Estate Plc, in which a separate Qatar investment fund owns almost a 28 percent stake. Qatari Diar is wholly owned by the Qatar Investment Authority.

It’s the latest real estate acquisition in London by Qatar’s various funds, which own a stake in the Shard tower, the Chelsea Barracks high-end residential project, Park House on Oxford Street, Harrods department store and the U.S. embassy building in Mayfair.

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