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BP to sell London HQ amid office shake-up

BP to sell London HQ amid office shake-up

Oil giant to leave historic home as work patterns shift

BP is planning to quit its historic international headquarters in central London as the energy giant cuts 10,000 jobs and scales back its office space.

The FTSE 100 group, which employs 6,500 office staff in the UK — in the capital and in Sunbury-on-Thames, Surrey — plans to rent back the building from the new owner for up to two years before leaving for good.

BP is the latest big employer to signal a permanent change in the way its staff work. Chief executive Bernard Looney has said it will move to a more “hybrid work style”, including a mixture of home and office working.

Shifts in behaviour brought on by the coronavirus have cast a cloud of uncertainty over the property market. A sale of BP’s building on ST James square, expected to be priced at more than £300 million, will also be a key test of appetite for prime London floorspace.

The shift comes as BP slashes thousands of its 70,000 jobs, 2,000 of them in Britain. It recently halved its dividend and reported a record $17.7bn (£13.3bn) loss for the second quarter.

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