Star Wars special effects makers London home is sold for £215m

Author: | Date: 06 Jan 2015

The West End home of Industrial Light & Magic, the firm behind the special effects of the Star Wars blockbuster film franchise, has changed hands for £21.5 million, the Evening Standard understands.

Industry sources say Topland, the property investment business of the billionaire Zakay brothers, has sold the Grade II-listed Hend House on Shaftesbury Avenue to the Medical Defence Union Of Scotland, which provides professional indemnity insurance for doctors, dentists and other healthcare workers.

ILM, the visual effects arm of director George Lucas's LucasFilm production company, began life 40 years ago when Lucas set up the company to provide the effects for the first Star Wars firm in 1977.

It is working on the latest instalment of the saga Episode VII: The Force Awakens, pictured, due to be released in December.

Topland signed up ILM as a tenant for the previously empty building in May last year, helped by the extension of film tax breaks to the visual effects industry by the Chancellor, who formally opened the Hend House offices in October.

The signing of ILM also boosted the building's value, prompting the Zakay brothers, worth £2.8 billion according to the Sunday Times, to appoint CBRE as agents to sell it in November.