October 25, 2012 / 1:08 PM / in 6 years

Admiralty Arch sold for 60 million pounds

LONDON (Reuters) - Admiralty Arch, a gateway between The Mall and Trafalgar Square in London, will be converted to a hotel after being bought for about 60 million pounds by Spanish investor Rafael Serrano, a source close to the sale said.

The 99-year leasehold deal is one of an expected wave of property disposals by the British government as part of a cost-cutting drive.

Southern European investors are attracted to London’s property market for its safe haven qualities and liquidity as well as the appeal of an investment in sterling.

Serrano’s previous London ventures include the luxury Bulgari hotel in Knightsbridge. In August, Spanish property company Allegra European Holdings exchanged contracts to buy a block containing the London headquarters of social network company Facebook for about 60 million pounds.

Located at the other end of The Mall from Buckingham Palace, the 100-year old Admiralty Arch was formerly occupied by the Cabinet Office government department. It was built by King Edward VII as a tribute to his mother Queen Victoria.

Editing by Dan Lalor

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