Qatari investor buys W London hotel for $315m
London, September 20, 2011
UK-based property firm McAleer & Rushe has exchanged contracts to sell its glamorous W London-Leicester Square hotel-led mixed use scheme to a Qatari-based investor for close to GBP200 million ($315 million).
The purchase price reflects a net initial yield of close to four per cent.
The stylish 192-bed W London is situated on the corner of Leicester Square and Wardour Street, on the site of the former Swiss Centre.
In addition to the Starwood-operated hotel, that has quickly become synonymous with A-list celebrities, the ten-storey building houses 11 luxury two and three bedroom penthouse W Residencies and a 35,000 sq ft M&M’s World store, a first for Europe.
Developed and constructed by McAleer & Rushe and designed by Jestico + Whiles the scheme has won best UK development at international property show MIPIM, held in Cannes, and has been shortlisted for a number of other forthcoming prestigious architectural awards.
“This has very much been a flagship, showcase development for McAleer & Rushe,” said Eamonn Laverty, McAleer & Rushe’s managing director.
“We built a hotel that is instilled with the highest levels of design and exclusivity that one would expect of such a glamorous brand as W and on such a prominent site, on one of London’s most famous squares.”
“We have also created one of the most exclusive branded apartment schemes in London, with the full benefit of catering and other services provided by the W Hotel. The funds raised will be reinvested in the business and will assist us in the pursuit of other development opportunities,” he added.
McAleer & Rushe’s property director Stephen Surphlis said: “There was always going to be a lot of interest in this scheme given its architectural quality, the long leases and strength of the international covenants of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide and Mars Retail Group, and the strong demand for prime London property. We are particularly pleased to have concluded such a successful transaction.”
Jones Lang LaSalle and Steerforth Partners advised on the sale.
Robert Millar, investment partner of Steerforth Partners, said: “The W Hotel received a lot of interest from international investors and is the latest evidence that the market for prime central London property remains very robust. The price achieved is testament to McAleer & Rushe’s foresight and acumen in acquiring, developing and letting this iconic London landmark”.
Jon Hubbard, MD for Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels added: “London remains the focus for global capital and this sale reinforces the international appeal of London for real estate investors, recognising the long term strength of the London hotel market. The current lack of stock continues to drive competition for good quality assets.”
Qatar's Al Faisal Holding, owned by a Qatari royal family member, which bought the W Hotel, owns a controlling stake in Qatar's Aamal, a diversified trading, property and industrial company.– TradeArabia News Service & Reuters
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