Ascott to acquire prime property In London for £159 million (SG/UK)

CapitaLand's wholly owned serviced residence business unit, The Ascott Limited (Ascott), has signed an agreement to acquire a prime hotel operating in London for £158.8 million (approx. €200 million). Ascott will manage the 230-unit hotel, The Cavendish London, in the fourth quarter of 2012.

The Cavendish London

The Cavendish London

The hotel, which has a rich heritage dating back to the 1960s, will be subsequently transformed into a luxurious serviced residence under the premier Ascott The Residence brand and will be named Ascott St James London. The transformation of The Cavendish London into Ascott St James London marks the expansion of the premier Ascott brand in the key hospitality market of London.

The Cavendish London is well-located on Jermyn Street, in the St James's area of Mayfair. The location is perfectly suited for business or leisure, surrounded by some of London's finest cultural, dining, shopping and leisure attractions, including The Royal Academy of Arts, Fortnum & Mason, the bespoke tailors of Jermyn Street and Savile Row, West End theatres and cinemas, the famous Bond Street and the relaxing open space of Green and St James's Parks as well as Buckingham Palace.

The acquisition of The Cavendish London will increase Ascott's portfolio to seven properties in central London. It will also enhance Ascott's presence in Europe where it currently manages over 5,000 units across 45 properties in 20 cities.

Mr Chong Kee Hiong, Ascott's Chief Executive Officer, said: "London is one of the strongest and most resilient hospitality markets where demand from business and leisure travelers for international-class serviced residences continues to grow.

"This is an attractive opportunity to acquire a quality operating property which is strategically located in the prestigious Mayfair area. We see the potential to transform this property into one of the best luxury serviced residences in London. The acquisition of The Cavendish London is in line with our articulated strategy to seek investment opportunities in key growth cities in Asia and Europe."

Mr Tan Choon Kwang, Ascott's Managing Director for Europe, said: "Ascott The Residence is our flagship brand that provides guests with discreet and unmatched personalized services in an exclusive environment. It is the perfect brand for this prime hotel.

"Many dignitaries and top business executives stay at our internationally-recognized Ascott brand of serviced residences located in key cities around the world. We look forward to welcoming guests to experience Ascott's signature hospitality and our wide array of business support services at the new Ascott St James London."

At The Cavendish London, guests can choose from 230 stylish rooms and suites that offer some of the best views in London. For business travelers, there are five state-of-the-art meeting rooms offering carbon-neutral meeting package options and a business centre equipped with Apple iMac computers. Wireless internet connection is also available anywhere in the property.

The Cavendish London offers a choice of dining in the award-winning Petrichor Restaurant, the chic Lounge and the comfortable Lobby Bar. It also provides

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