Great Eagle Holdings may sell some of its office space in flagship investment property Langham Place in Mongkok in a bid to slash a mountain of debt that keeps piling up as interest rates rise. The company said it had been approached by investors over the past few months who wanted to buy space at its Langham Place Office Tower. The asset disposal could help the company push its gearing ratio below 50 per cent from 82 per cent as of the end of last year, it said. 'Offer prices from these investors seem reasonable and we will consider selling part of the Langham Place Office Tower in the future,' Great Eagle deputy chairman and managing director Lo Ka-shui told reporters after the company's annual general meeting yesterday. 'Our gearing ratio is at a relatively high level; it will be safer for us to bring down our debt in light of the interest rate hikes.' However, Mr Lo declined to offer any financial details on the potential disposal or the current valuation on Langham Place. The $10 billion hotel, office and retail complex, which opened last summer, was largely responsible for lifting Great Eagle's net attributable debt by $904 million to $114.66 billion last year. Analysts were not surprised by the plan to unload assets to cut debt. They estimated the company could fetch up to $2.8 billion, or between $5,500 and $6,500 per square foot, for the 772,000 sqft office tower. More than 90 per cent of the 330,000 sqft of space released in the middle and low levels has been rented. Lucia Kwong, an analyst at Core Pacific-Yamaichi International, said: 'Great Eagle's high debt level has been an overhang for years.' 'Asset disposal is a way out for it to lower its interest burden and help unlock its value.' According to BNP Paribas Peregrine's estimate, Great Eagle could save $120 million in interest expenses next year if it can reduce its gearing ratio to 52 per cent by selling the remaining 440,000 sqft of floor space at $6,500 per square foot. Mr Lo was upbeat on the value of Great Eagle's office properties, saying they were poised to rise with the growing economy. Occupancy at Great Eagle's Central office properties stood at 86 per cent, he said. Its properties in Wan Chai and Mongkok had 99 per cent occupancy rates, he added.