Google shows confidence in office work with $1 billion deal in London

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Tech giant Google has spent US$1 billion (about Rs.7,410 billion) to buy a central London building where it is currently a tenant, showing its confidence in the office’s future as a place to work, the company said on Friday.

Google, which employs 6,400 people in the UK, is planning a multi-million dollar refurbishment of its offices in the Central Saint Giles development it is buying, near Covent Garden in central London.

“We have been privileged to have had operations in the UK for almost 20 years and our purchase of the Central Saint Giles project reflects our continued commitment to the country’s growth and prosperity,” said Ruth Porat, CFO of Google’s parent company Alphabet .

Google plans to remodel the building to accommodate in-person teamwork, have meeting rooms for hybrid work, and create more space for individuals.

The new renovation will also include covered outdoor workspaces to enable working in the fresh air, the company said.

Google said it would eventually have capacity for 10,000 employees at its UK sites, including one being developed in nearby London’s King’s Cross.

“This investment in jobs by Google is a huge vote of confidence in the UK as the world’s leading technology hub,” Finance Minister Rishi Sunak said in a statement.

Google said last month it was delaying its plan to return to the office globally amid growing concerns about the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

The Central Saint Giles building was owned by a joint venture between Legal & General Investment Management Real Assets and Mitsubishi Estate London Limited.

© Thomson Reuters 2022

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