China Investment Corp takes up Songbird share issue


Songbird Estates has been saved from bankruptcy by the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, the China Investment Corporation.

Songbird is the majority owner of Canary Wharf, the huge development in London’s Tower Hamlets that now competes with the Square Mile in providing prime office space for the major financial institutions of the world, including Barclays, Credit Suisse, Citigroup and HSBC.

Songbird recently made a rights issue in order to pay for the £880 million it owes to Citigroup. The Qatari sovereign wealth fund has also taken up the offer, although it is notable that other existing investors have not, such as British Land. CIC’s investment is evidently a source of some relief to Songbird.

Chairman David Pritchard commented, “If we had not been able to achieve this refinancing, we would not have been able to repay the loan to Citibank. We would have faced liquidation or administration.”