Funding secured for the Shard and London Bridge Place (UK)

Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company ("Qatari Diar"), an international leader in sustainable development, has agreed to provide a funding facility to LBQ Ltd, the Jersey registered holding company that is developing the Shard and London Bridge Place. The quantum of the loan is not being disclosed.

LBQ Ltd is an international joint venture owned equally by Qatar Islamic Bank, Qinvest, Qatar National Bank, Barwa International and Sellar Property Group, who are also leading the development. Qatari Diar is not, at this stage, participating in the equity of LBQ Ltd but will be taking a seat on the board of directors of the company.

Renzo Piano Building Workshop is the architect for both The Shard and London Bridge Place, which is a mixed-use scheme. Demolition and site clearance of The Shard site will be completed in January 2009; demolition and site clearance will commence on the London Bridge Place site in March 2009. Construction on both sites is expected to commence next year with practical completion in 2012.

A spokesman for Qatari Diar said: "We are very pleased to be involved in the realisation of a building which will be iconic in stature and of considerable commercial significance. This further financial commitment by Qatari Diar to London's real estate market underscores our conviction that, despite its current challenges, London remains one of the most important real estate markets in the world and it is one in which we have an ongoing interest. We take a long term view of all of our investments here and remain confident of their successful outcome."

A spokesman for LBQ Ltd said that they are delighted to be working with Qatari Diar on this project. "Obtaining this new facility, which is a major part of our overall financing requirement, enables the programme for completion of The Shard and its sister building London Bridge Place to remain on programme for completion early in 2012".

Source: Brown Lloyd James Financial

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