The explanation for this decision was the architect's intention to allegedly receive money for a large-scale expansion of his office. At the same time, it is planned to increase the number of its branches around the world from 13 to 20-30.
The first step in this financial transaction was for Norman Foster an invitation to the consulting company Catalyst, which determined the value of his firm at £ 300-500 million. But many analysts question this figure, justifying it by the fact that the commercial property market is now on the rise.
In the 2004-2005 fiscal year, Foster and partners made a profit of £ 2.5 million (excluding taxes) on a turnover of 44.5 million. 12% of this amount is in the United States and 9% in China. But the lion's share belongs to Great Britain - 43%.
Observers, however, see Foster's actions as a reaction to the problem faced by many "star" architects - the question of a successor. Although the 71-year-old architect says he has no plans to retire yet, his firm, which by some accounts is the eighth largest in the world, and the number one most admired and respected by opinion polls in Britain, is a structure which can and - should in the foreseeable future - exist without it.
Due to the high quality and innovativeness of their projects, Foster and partners are far ahead of architectural firms of similar sizes, and are a kind of brand that many are willing to pay any money for. Time will tell how this bureau will develop in the future, whether it will retain its reputation or become one of the many giants in the construction, engineering and architectural design sectors, whose projects are of little interest to anyone except direct customers.