Hinduja Group buys London’s iconic Old War Office building

Hinduja Group, along with Spanish company Obrascon Huarte Lain Desarrollos (OHLD), has acquired London's historical Old War Office building which was used by Sir Winston Churchill during World War II to take key decisions, according to a report by news agency PTI quoting senior officials of the company.

The company did not disclose the value of the deal.

An email sent to the company seeking details on the deal, did not elicit any response till the time of filing this report.

Constructed in 1906, the building is located at 57, Whitehall in central London and is rated Grade II. It is understood that the asset will be re-developed into a luxury hotel, having residential apartments and private function rooms.

The report, which quoted Britain's Ministry of Defence, said the 580,000 square-feet property was sold on a 250-year lease arrangement to the companies.

Srichand P Hinduja, chairman, Hinduja Group, said, "We will make every effort to honour the heritage and restoration of this national monument, elevate its status and reconnect it with the public."

"We will forge a new future for the site, creating a vibrant and sustainable destination that retains and enhances the historical importance of the building. We are proud to be playing such a crucial role in this new chapter for the Old War Office," said GP Hinduja, co-chairman, Hinduja Group.

Juan-Miguel Villar-Mir, chairperson of the OHLD Group, said, "We are very proud to be participating in one of the most important development projects in the world."

"We have a thorough understanding and appreciation of heritage and conservation issues and our commitment now as custodians of this landmark building is to leverage its untapped historical value and potential cultural and social significance," he added.

London has seen some large ticket investments by Indian businessmen in marquee assets of the city. Mumbai-based developer Lodha Group, which considers London as a key market for the company, bought two assets for a whopping Rs 4,000 crore in a period of six months.

In November last year, Lodha bought the seven-storey Macdonald House in central London for Rs 3,000 crore. Soon after signing the deal, the company said it was looking to buy more properties in the city.

It acquired a property located on Carey Street spread over 1.15 acres, with saleable area of 200,000 square feet, for roughly Rs 900 crore.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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