HONG KONG INVESTOR BUYS LONDON HOTEL

HONG KONG INVESTOR BUYS LONDON HOTEL

A Hong Kong entrepreneur bought a five-star hotel Thursday in London's tourist district for more than HK$1.5 billion (US$192 million) in cash and is looking to buy a New York hotel next.

It is the largest such sale in Europe and the largest single property investment in Britain by a Hong Kong company, said C.F. Chan, chairman of Park Lane Hotels International Ltd.His group is buying the Churchill Hotel in London's West End from a Kuwaiti firm. Park Lane plans to spend about HK$200 million on upgrading the property, originally developed by the New York-based Loews Corp.

Park Lane operates an 850-room hotel in Hong Kong in conjunction with the Radisson hotel chain of the United States.

It also owns and operates the 850-room Hyatt Regency in Oakland, Calif.; the 400-room Coco Palms Desert in Kauai, Hawaii; and the 1,000-room Ramada Renaissance in San Francisco.

The acquisition of the Churchill will provide us with a platform for continued expansion, Mr. Chan said Thursday. Our next major objective is New York.