THE Spanish billionaire and founder of Zara is set to buy the Adelphi in central London, a Grade II listed building for about €680 million, weeks after losing out on buying another prominent building in the capital.
Amancio Ortega, 82, founder of the Index fashion empire that includes the retailer Zara, is understood to be the preferred bidder for the 330,000 sq ft office building by the Strand.
At the moment it is home to the music-streaming service Spotify, as well as Condé Nast, The Economist, and Finsbury, the public relations company.
Mr Ortega is the ninth richest person in the world, and is worth €58.7 billion, but no final decision to sell the property to him has been taken.
The building is owned by Blackstone, America’s largest private equity firm, which bought the site in 2012 for €294 million.
The 1938 building has been restored to its art deco glory with Travertine marble surfaces and etched glass panels, while the four sculptures that frame the Adelphi and whicih were designed by the sculptor Gilbert Ledward, remain in place.
Pontegadea recently made a €1.13 billion bid for Goldman Sach’s London headquarters but missed out to South Korea’s National Pension Service, a sovereign wealth fund.
Blackstone put the Adelphi up for sale in April after completing full occupancy of the building last July when Shiseido Group, the Japanese cosmetics company, took the remaining space.
The private equity group has completed a huge refurbishment of the site, which is one of the largest single office buildings in the West End with panoramic views over the Thames.