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Qataris Eye Up Shard Development Partnership

The swirling tale of high finance that has cast its shadow over London Bridge Tower could soon be resolved.

Thanks to the current troubles on the financial markets, financial institutions have become much more wary about loaning money presenting Teighmore, the consortium behind the Shard with a dilemma of what to do. Whilst they have enough money to demolish the current building on the site, they don't have the cash to actually build the Shard.

At the heart of their problems is one of the partners, the Halabi Family Trust which has racked up huge losses on recent investments whilst at the same time arguing with the other two partners, Sellar Properties and CLS over the management fees they should be paid by the consortium.

The breakdown in relationships combined with the financial problems that the Halabi Family Trust is now experiencing has seen financing on the scheme dry up as confidence of the debt markets falls despite the negotiations having got to an advanced stage with Credit Suisse before being overtaken by events.

It seems now that the Halabis will be moved to one side with their share bought out and a new partner brought in who the markets trust better and can provide some development capital meaning that although the project is economical and fundable one third of the triumvirate of developers failed to pass the standards the markets look for.

The Halabis are stuck between a rock and a hard place with the banks having given them only ten days to sell their stake in the Shard before they move in like circling vultures leaving the Halabis with little choice but to do what the banks have requested or stare into a financial abyss.

Stepping into the breach is the Qatar Investment Authority who are supported by the other two partners. It is a vehicle run by the Qatari government that works as a venture capital fund investing money in companies around the world it believes can provide a good return.

They weren't alone in expressing interest in the scheme, the American financial institution Pramerica had also expressed an interest but were outbid by their Arab rivals.

In another move, Candy and Candy are set to sign up to deal with the residential aspects of the development that will see them add their touch of luxury to the apartments. Candy and Candy have already teamed up with Qatar in the past with their under construction 1 Knightsbridge that had an apartment sold for a record 100 million.

What is likely to happen now is the Halabi Family Trust will sell their third of the scheme, the Qataris will replace them and Credit Suisse will be providing the financing that will allow the construction of London's first supertall.

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