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UOL Group to Purchase City of London Site for New Hotel

Aug. 14 (Bloomberg) -- UOL Group Ltd., a luxury-hotel operator based in Singapore, agreed to buy a land plot in the City of London financial district from Heron International Ltd. for 97 million pounds ($162 million) and will develop the first European property with its Pan Pacific brand there.

The site at Bishopsgate, near Liverpool Street rail station, has planning approval for a 43-story tower that will include the luxury hotel, residential apartments and stores, Heron said in a statement today. UOL Group owns or operates more than 30 hotels under the Pan Pacific and PARKROYAL brands in Asia, Oceania and North America.

Hotels valued at about 1.5 billion pounds were sold in the U.K. in the first half, the second-highest amount since the market’s peak in 2007, as the rebounding economy boosts returns, Deloitte LLP said in an Aug. 11 report. Sentiment toward European hotel investment is at a record high, brokerage Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. said last week.

“The demand for the site demonstrated that there is significant international interest in acquiring prime London assets and we are capitalizing on this opportunity,” Heron International Chief Executive Officer Gerald Ronson said in a statement. The site is next to the Heron Tower office building.

To contact the reporter on this story: Neil Callanan in London at ncallanan@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Andrew Blackman at ablackman@bloomberg.net Andrew Blackman, Christine Maurus

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