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Would you pay $1.1B for a Gherkin?

The City of London
Dan Kitwood | Getty Images
The City of London

The Gherkin, one of London's most recognizable buildings, is up for sale, and is expected to reach £650 million plus ($1.1 billion), according to property industry sources.

The sale of the building, after it fell into the hands of administrators Deloitte this year, is expected to be announced Tuesday. Savills and Deloitte Real Estate are expected to be the agents, according to a source. Spokespeople for the agents were unavailable for comment


The Gherkin's previous owners, bank Evans Randall and German real estate group IVG Immobilien, ran into trouble after IVG took out a loan in Swiss francs to buy it, but not hedging against rises in the currency, which is up 36 percent against the pound since the loan was taken out in 2006.

This building, formally known as 30 St Mary Axe and designed by Norman Foster, is the kind of asset which could attract pension funds and foreign investors looking for inroads into London's property market.


Joyoyo Chen | Flickr | Getty Images

The sale comes at a key time for London's commercial property sector, which is returning to rude health after years of post-credit crisis doldrums.

The HSBC tower in Canary Wharf is also up for sale, and is expected to reach £1 billion plus, which would make it the biggest ever sale of a single building in the U.K. It is marketed by agent Jones Lang LaSalle, and is understood to have attracted attention in the U.S. and Asia.

- By CNBC's Catherine Boyle

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