London

LONDON—China Investment Corporation is laying the groundwork for acquisition of 32-acre Chiswick Park, one of London’s largest office developments.

The Financial Times says it would be the highest value real estate purchase made by Beijing’s investment arm in Europe. CIC is reportedly in exclusive negotiations with Blackstone to purchase the property in west London. The Times say the deal could close toward the end of November.

The sale would mark only the second purchase made by CIC in the UK market. The fund acquired Deutsche Bank‘s $390 million (£245m) City of London headquarters last year, but has otherwise avoided the sort of mega-deals undertaken by the sovereign wealth arms of Singapore, Malaysia and Qatar.

Blackstone had originally marketed the sprawling business park, whose tenants include Pepsi, Swarovski, QVC and Tullow Oil, last year for about $1.3 billion (£800m).

The sale failed to attract the sufficiently high offers and was pulled, however. The private equity group instead refinanced the $954 million (£600m) of debt outstanding on the project and worked on constructing and leasing the last of 12 office blocks on the site.

CIC is reportedly discussing a price of at least $1 billion. The sovereign wealth fund owns a stake in Blackstone, having invested $3 billion. into the private equity group before its initial public offering in 2007.

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