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"We intend to make the building even better" says new owner

"We intend to make the building even better" says new owner Safra Group Credit: John Walton/PA Wire

"The acquisition of 30 St Mary Axe is consistent with our real estate strategy of investing in properties that are truly special – at the best locations within great cities. While only ten years old, this building is already a London icon that is distinguished from others in the market, with excellent value growth potential. We intend to make the building even better and more desirable through active ownership that will lead to a range of enhancements that will benefit tenants."

– Safra Group

Building had guide price of £650m

The iconic skyscraper, at 30 St Mary Axe, is known as the Gherkin because of its distinctive shape.

According to the Financial Times, the group - headed by billionaire Brazilian businessman Joseph Safra - paid £726m for the 180m high Norman Foster-designed tower.

The building was put up for sale earlier this year with a guide price of £650m.

The Gherkin: the second tallest tower in the City of London Credit: John Walton/PA Archive

The Gherkin is the second tallest tower in the City of London and the sixth tallest in London.

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Lloyd Scott's most unusual challenges

Lloyd Scott MBE, from Rainham, was originally best known as a professional footballer. But since 1989 he has been devoting his time to all manner of weird and wonderful charity challenges - some of the strangest of which are below.

  • November 1993: Everest Marathon – Staged 18,000 feet up the world’s highest peak

  • July 1998: Completed 135 mile Death Valley ultra marathon in 140 degrees of heat

  • October 2003: Completed the world’s first underwater marathon in deep-sea diving suit in Loch Ness – taking 12 days

  • Oct-Dec 2004: Cycled Penny Farthing across Australia – Perth to Sydney nearly 3,000 miles taking 50 days

  • May 2005: ‘Swam’ from John O’Groats to Land’s End in swimming pool on back of a lorry, taking 12 days

  • June 2010: World's deepest underground marathon, 12,000 feet down a mine in South Africa

The ten stone suit Lloyd Scott wears on his climb

During his climb up the Gherkin today, Lloyd Scott MBE is wearing at 1940s diving suit that weighs 140lbs, or 10 stone.

Lloyd walking the London Marathon in the type of suit he will be wearing on today's climb

The antique suit, complete with solid copper helmet, means that the cumulative weight Lloyd will lift during his climb is 66 metric tons.

Lloyd poses for the cameras in the type of suit he'll be wearing today

It's not the first time Lloyd has been seen in one of these suits however. He's completed a number of marathons in one, including the London Marathon in 2002 when he broke the record for the slowest time, taking almost six days to complete it.

He was also the first person to complete the 2012 Olympic Marathon Route, again wearing one of the suits. He was barred from competing in the actual race as it was ruled that competitors have to finish on the same day the race starts.

Charity diving suit climb at Gherkin

The gherkin in London Credit: REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

A charity fundraiser is set to climb all 1,037 steps inside the Gherkin whilst wearing a 1940s deep diving suit today to raise money for charity.

Lloyd Scott MBE will wear the 140lbs suit as he climbs all 38 of the Gherkin's floors as part of his own Britain's Personal Best challenge later this morning.

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