BLG and Clydes head to Libya to iron out property headaches

Merger partners Barlow Lyde & Gilbert (BLG) and Clyde & Co will send a representative to Libya next week in a bid to extricate BLG from its lease on a London office building owned by the Libyan Arab Foreign Investment Company (Lafico).

Beaufort House
Beaufort House

BLG plans to move out of its own City office in Beaufort House and into Clydes’ recently opened office in St Botolph Building when the two firms’ merger goes live next month (8 August 2011).

Broker Jardine Lloyd Thompson is understood to be interested in taking over BLG’s lease, but negotiations have stalled because of difficulties in reaching Lafico (17 October 2011).

BLG chief executive David Jabbari told The Lawyer on Monday that the merger with Clydes was built around the premise that BLG would stay in its offices at least until its lease runs out, but management is keen to sublet the office to free up the cash necessary to take on extra space in Clydes’ St Botolph building sooner.

“If we could get the cooperation we would like to get everyone into St Botolph,” Clydes managing partner Michael Payton said. “In the next week we’re going to Tripoli with the [Libyan] ambassador [to the UK].”

That said, Payton added: “The NTC [National Transitional Council] has got a lot to think about, I doubt some building in EC3 is top of the priority list.”

Lafico, a company set up by Gaddafi in the 1980s to make foreign investments, bought Beaufort House in St Botolph Street, EC3 in 1993. He was effectively deposed earlier this year and the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA), which is now operating under the authority of the National Transitional Council, is set to subsume Lafico’s portfolio of assets.

News has broken today of Gaddafi’s death after an assault on his home town of Sirte.