London - Leading global law firm Mayer Brown has advised a Chinese investor on the £260 million acquisition of the Lloyd’s building in London. It is the first investment in London by a Chinese life insurance group.

The purchase follows an active start to the year with Chinese investors pouring an estimated $1 billion into London office stock with overseas real estate investment becoming increasingly attractive. The influx of investment is partly due to regulatory changes in China that ease restrictions on mainland Chinese companies investing in overseas real estate.

The city’s iconic building was sold by German investor Commerz Real and was given Grade 1 listing status in December 2011. The building, designed by architect Richard Rogers, has air ducts and lifts on the outside of the building, similar to the Centre Pompidou in Paris.

Martin Wright, Head of European Real Estate, said: “We are delighted to have been able to assist our client on their first UK purchase. China is growing rapidly as a key player in the global real estate market and with changes to domestic policy now allowing insurers in China to invest in London, this is only set to continue at a pace.”

The Mayer Brown team was led by Head of European Real Estate Martin Wright and included partner Andrew Hepner, senior associate Ben Henry and associates Danielle Gerber and Caroline Brennan.

Mayer Brown also recently advised New York based Ashkenazy Acquisition Corporation on its £105m purchase of Old Spitalfields Market, their first investment in Europe and Singaporean property developer, Sinar Mas Land Limited, on the £84m purchase of New Brook Buildings, London, their first acquisition outside of Asia as well as China Overseas Holdings on its £152m debut acquisition outside of China.

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