Foreign investors snapping up London hotels

Hotel News - 15/11/2010

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London’s hotel property market is set to see an accelerating recovery, as a raft of sales to foreign buyers is on the verge of being closed. Altogether, the latest bunch of hotel sales is worth in excess of £1.5 billion.

According to The Times of London, Singapore-based Kop Group is set this week to agree a deal to buy the former London City HQ of the Willis insurance group. The deal is thought to be worth £70 million. The Kop Group is said to be earmarking the building for redevelopment into a super-luxury hotel.

US investors Westmont Hospitality are thought to be leading the pack in bidding for the Eton Group’s five boutique hotels. That deal is expected to fetch £50 million. Meanwhile, an investor from India is apparently engaged in advanced discussions to acquire the Grosvenor House hotel on Central London’s Park Lane for £470 million.

Harrods owner Qatar Holding is also rumoured to have hired advisors to handle a potential bid of £1 billion for the Maybourne Group. Maybourne owns the Connaught, Claridges and the Berkeley, all of which are five-star hotels.

Maybourne insists it will complete its £650 million debt-refinancing and has consistently refuted suggestions it would sell any hotels. However, a number of major investment funds have made approaches to Maybourne about acquiring the hotels. Qatar Holding is one of these funds.

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