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December 2, 2010
From Houses to Hotels: Foreign Buyers Dominating The Market
Thanks to the foreign buyers the London hotel property market is on the up as foreign buyers prepare to close deals worth well over £1.5 billion ($2.45bn).
Currently there are a number of potential deals on the table. At the moment Singapore’s Kop Group, which is mostly owned by an offshoot of Dubai Holdings is in talks with US tycoon Stan Thomas and lender Lloyds Banking Group to take a controlling stake in the former City headquarters of the Willis insurance empire for an estimated $70million.
Thomas has been searching for an investor to start construction of the 6 star, 490,000 sq ft, hotel development site, which is set to be one of the cities most luxurious hotels.
American investor, Westmont Hospitality which currently owns over 500 hotels managed or franchised by groups including InterContinental, Hilton and Acco is looking to fork out $50million to acquire five boutique hotels owned by the Elton Group, which owns hotels in London, Leeds and Edinburgh.
Talks are also underway for an Indian bidder to acquire Grosvenor House for an estimated $470 million, which is currently inhabited by JW Marriot Hotels and is located on one of Central London’s most prestigious streets Park Lane .
Further to this the king of hip hotels, Ian Schrager who is set to purchase the Berners Hotel in Fitzrovia for $60million is looking to turn it into Britain’s first boutique Edition hotel.
The number of deals in place may seem relatively low to the market of 2006-7, but recent months have noted an increase in deals. All that’s certain is foreign buyers are prepared to open their wallets and spend especially if the Pound Sterling remains weak, so who knows what else may exchange hands in the near future.