By  on September 5, 2007

TOKYO — Tiffany & Co. is selling its building and land in Ginza, part of which houses Tiffany's Ginza flagship, to the investment firm of Goldman Sachs for 37 billion yen, or $319 million at current exchange, sources said. The flagship will continue to operate under a lease agreement to be signed with the new owner.

A spokeswoman for Tiffany here declined to comment on the report. A spokesman for Goldman Sachs here also declined comment.

Tiffany purchased the Ginza property — a nine-story building and land estimated to be as large as 680 square meters, or 7,300 square feet, for approximately 16.5 billion yen, or $142 million in 2003. That was a time, market watchers said, when people here were still uncertain about the prospects of the Japanese economy and real estate prices remained low.

But investors and funds began coming back about two years ago snatching up whatever available property in Ginza and other high-profile shopping areas such as Omotesando The rush, market sources noted, has accelerated as world-class luxury brands started to look around for good locations in Ginza to build their bases in the Japanese retail market for the long term.

Goldman Sachs has reportedly outbid all other parties.

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