Qatar investor snaps up London’s W Hotel in $313m deal

Unnamed buyer pays out for 192-bedroom luxury hotel in London’s Leicester Square
Qatar investor snaps up London’s W Hotel in $313m deal
The 10-storey hotel includes luxury apartments, a gymnasium and a 35,000 sq ft M&M’s store
By Bloomberg
Tue 20 Sep 2011 08:21 AM

The developer of London’s W Hotel, a site that includes the European flagship store of Mars’s M&M’s, has agreed to sell the property for about £200m ($313m.)

McAleer & Rushe said the 10-story building on Leicester Square will be bought by an unnamed investor based in Qatar, according to a statement today from the Cookstown, Northern Ireland-based company.

McAleer & Rushe acquired the former site of the Swiss Centre in 2004 from British Land Co for £47m. The developer built a 192-bedroom hotel, luxury apartments, a gymnasium and 35,000 sq ft M&M’s store on the land. The hotel also houses a branch of chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten's Spice Market restaurant.

Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. and Steerforth Partners advised on the sale.

The deal marks the latest in a series of investments in British assets by Qatari buyers. The Gulf state’s wealth fund counts luxury London department store Harrods and stakes in Barclays, retailer J Sainsbury’s and the London Stock Exchange among its investments.

Qatari Diar, Qatar Investment Authority’s property arm, in August announced it had won a bid to buy London’s Olympic Village in a £557m in a joint deal with the UK developer Delancey.

The gas-rich emirate last month denied media reports it was close to a deal to take over the world-famous Silverstone racing circuit in the UK.

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