A Hong Kong firm has snapped up London's landmark Walkie Talkie skyscraper for a record £1.3bn.

The purchase by food and health products conglomerate Lee Kum Kee is the highest price ever paid for a single building in Britain.

It will acquire the two 50% stakes in the skyscraper - which is fully let and boasts a three-tiered sky garden with a restaurant - owned by Canary Wharf Group and Landsec.

Robert Noel, chief executive of Landsec, said: "The building has been an immensely successful project for Landsec and our partners.

"This sale crystallises the significant value we have created at 20 Fenchurch Street."

The iconic 34-storey building, known as the Walkie Talkie because of its distinctive shape, has had an eventful and at times troubled existence.

It made the headlines in 2013 when it was blamed for melting parts of vehicles parked below it by the damaging glare of the skyscraper in sweltering temperatures.

In 2015, the office block won an award for being the biggest architectural eyesore in the UK.

Other complaints include high winds at the base of the building, which has prompted official wind assessments.

The building, formally known as 20 Fenchurch Street, was designed by Uruguayan architect Rafael Vinoly for developer Landsec.

James Beckham, of Cushman & Wakefield which advised on the deal, said: "Since the vote to leave the EU, capital targeting London from the Asia-Pacific region has increased to record levels.

"This is partly due to currency fluctuations but is more indicated of longer-term confidence in London and investment strategies which are not derailed by short-term political uncertainty," he added.

The deal comes months after Chinese property magnate Cheung Chung Kiu bought another London landmark - the Cheesegrater skyscraper in Leadenhall - for £1.15bn.

The previous record-breaking transaction for a single piece of British commercial property was the HSBC tower in Canary Wharf which was purchased by the Qatar Investment Authority in 2014 for £1.2bn.


Written by By Sunita Patel-Carstairs, Business Reporter