Google to develop £1bn UK headquarters in London

18 January 2013
By Sofia Mitra-Thakur
Mobile version
Share |
The Google signage is seen at the company's headquarters in New York

The Google signage is seen at the company's headquarters in New York

Google is developing a new UK headquarters which could be worth as much as £1bn when finished, the latest overseas property deal for the Internet giant.

Google has purchased a 2.4 acre plot at the Kings Cross Central development, one of London's biggest regeneration schemes, where it will build a one million square foot office, the property developers behind the project said this week without disclosing the purchase price.

A separate source with knowledge of the deal said Google was investing £650m to buy and develop the site.

The office building will be worth up to £1bn when it is finished in 2016, a second source said.

"This is a big investment by Google, we're committing further to the UK – where computing and the Web were invented," Google's vice president for Northern and Central Europe, Matt Brittin, said in a statement. "It's good news for Google, for London and for the UK."

Google will move from its current offices in the UK capital's Victoria and Holborn districts in 2016 when the building completes.

Construction on the site will start in late 2013 and the building will range in height from seven to 11 storeys.

Kings Cross Central, which sits on a former fish, coal and grain goods yard to the north of the city, spans 67 acres and will contain homes, offices and shops.

It is being built by the Kings Cross Central Limited Partnership, which includes developer Argent Group.

Google's new neighbours will include the real estate arm of French bank BNP Paribas, as well as a cultural and education centre managed by the Aga Khan, spiritual leader of Ismaili Muslims.

Google has traditionally leased its overseas offices but in the past two years has purchased premises in Paris, Dublin, and now London, its filings show.

As of 31 December 2011, Google has $44.6bn of cash, with $21.2bn of that held offshore, according to its 2011 annual report. If the funds held offshore were repatriated, they would be subject to US taxes, Google said.

Tax campaigner and accountant Richard Murphy said the decision to buy property rather than rent was likely "tax motivated" and driven by the fact the company cannot repatriate the cash to the US without paying a fat tax bill.

"If you're not going to send it back to the parent company to repurchase its shares, which is the normal route for a US corporation sitting on a pile of cash, what else are you going to do with it?" he said.

Google declined to comment on the tax issue.

Office landlords see Google as a prized tenant as its presence is expected to draw other technology companies – especially small start-ups – and help to bump up rents.

Latest Issue

E&T cover image 1607

"As the dust settles after the referendum result, we consider what happens next. We also look forward to an international summer of sport."

E&T jobs

  • Digital Forensic Specialist (Audio)

    Met Police
    • London
    • Circa £37,305 plus £3,406 location allowance

    You’ll contribute to a wide range of research and development activities.

    • Recruiter: Met Police

    Apply for this job

  • MetOp-SG Receiver Project Manager

    Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
    • STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Harwell, Oxfordshire
    • £37,213 - £50,926 (depending on experience)

    Project Manager to oversee the development, production and test of spaceflight components and integrated receiver systems

    • Recruiter: Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)

    Apply for this job

  • Systems Engineer

    Reaction Engines Ltd
    • Abingdon, Oxfordshire
    • Competitive + Benefits

    Perform general systems engineering tasks as necessary with specific focus on electronic systems and instrumentation.

    • Recruiter: Reaction Engines Ltd

    Apply for this job

  • Production Manager

    Reaction Engines Ltd
    • Abingdon, Oxfordshire
    • Competitive + Benefits

    An amazing opportunity to plan, direct and coordinate all manufacturing operations and activities in line with company strategy and business plan.

    • Recruiter: Reaction Engines Ltd

    Apply for this job

  • Navigation Sensors Principle Engineer

    MBDA
    • Stevenage
    • Competitive Salary & Benefits

    What?s the opportunity? An exciting opportunity has arisen in a rapidly evolving international team with increasing capabilities.  The Navigation Sensors Group is responsible for the...

    • Recruiter: MBDA

    Apply for this job

  • Technology Manager - External Communications

    BAE Systems
    • Frimley, England, Surrey
    • Negotiable

    Technology Manager - External Communications Would you like Lead the technical delivery of the External Communications System (ECS) capability sustainment & evolution projects within the common ECS (cECS) Baseline Design Management (BDM) programme? Th

    • Recruiter: BAE Systems

    Apply for this job

  • Graduate Process Engineer

    EFFECT Photonics
    • Brixham, Devon
    • £20,000 to £25,000

    Join our exciting journey to deliver new standards in the availability of data bandwidth.

    • Recruiter: EFFECT Photonics

    Apply for this job

  • Senior Principal Materials Engineer

    MBDA
    • Stevenage
    • Competitive salary & benefits

    What?s the opportunity? A fantastic opportunity has arisen for an experienced materials engineer/scientist specialising in non-metallic materials and processing. You will be given responsibility for...

    • Recruiter: MBDA

    Apply for this job

  • Postdoctoral Research Associate

    The University of Liverpool
    • Liverpool, Merseyside
    • £32,600 - £37,768 pa

    Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Research Associate in a brand new area of communications.

    • Recruiter: The University of Liverpool

    Apply for this job

  • Test Engineering Opportunities

    HMGCC
    • Hanslope Park, Milton Keynes
    • Salary offered will depend on skills and experience

    Push incredible innovations beyond their limits. Opportunities for Software, Hardware, EMC, Test and Inspection Engineers!

    • Recruiter: HMGCC

    Apply for this job

More jobs ▶

Subscribe

Choose the way you would like to access the latest news and developments in your field.

Subscribe to E&T