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LONDON-Due to the failing world markets, HSBC has taken back its headquarters building, less than two years after it signed a $2.2 billion sale-leaseback deal with Metrovacesa S.A. The bank has acquired 100% of Project Maple II BV, which has as its main asset the 1.1-million-square-foot office building at Eight Canada Sq., which is fully occupied by HSBC.

In May 2007, the bank contracted with the buyer for the SLB, with HSBC leasing the building back for 20 years at an initial annual rent of about $87 million. Metrovacesa had some help from the bank in acquiring the property; the purchase was funded via a cash equity injection of $361 million and a bridge loan of $1 billion.

However, the bank said in a statement that as a result of the significant market disruption that has impacted the availability of term funding, syndication of the bridge loan was not possible. The building will be handed back to HSBC, the bridge loan will be extinguished and HSBC will recognize a gain of $322 million in its income statement for the second half of 2008. “Clearly the market has deteriorated significantly since we agreed to the sale,” says David Hodgkinson, group COO of HSBC Holdings PLC, in the statement. A spokeswoman did not return a request for comment.

CB Richard Ellis represented HSBC in this latest deal, as it did with Freshfields on the original sale.

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