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UK landlord Great Portland sells London office building for $247 million

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(Reuters) -Commercial landlord Great Portland Estates Plc said on Tuesday it had sold a central London office building for 181.50 million pounds ($246.59 million), as the company reported its "strongest" quarterly performance since the pandemic took hold.

The London-focused firm said its joint venture with BP Pension Fund - Great Ropemaker Partnership - sold 160 Old Street, which sits at the heart of the Silicon Roundabout business district, to a fund advised by J.P. Morgan Global Alternatives at a 5% premium to its March valuation.

Commercial property firms have underperformed the wider real estate sector during the pandemic as multiple lockdowns and an ongoing moratorium on rent collection squeezed valuations of retail-focused assets, while remote working has weighed on office portfolios.

The FTSE 250-listed firm, which owns properties worth 2.5 billion pounds in central London, said rent collection for the September quarter was the best since December 2019, as more people start returning to offices after months of pandemic-induced remote working.

It said 84% of September quarter rent has been collected to date.

"Occupier demand is robust, focusing on prime Grade A space and flex office products, both of which play to our strengths," said Chief Executive Officer Toby Courtauld in a statement, adding that he expected healthy demand to persist.

($1 = 0.7361 pounds)

(Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Rashmi Aich)

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