February 9, 2009 / 7:15 PM / 10 years ago

London's O2 arena up for sale

The O2 Arena (foreground) and other buildings are seen in the Canary Wharf business district of east London on November 12, 2008 REUTERS/Jonathan Bainbridge

LONDON (Reuters) - The owner of London’s O2 arena said on Monday it was planning to sell the landmark dome-shaped venue, which is set to host pop stars Tina Turner and Madonna later this year.

Meridian Delta Dome Limited (MDL), a joint venture between Quintain Estates and Australia’s Lend Lease, said it had appointed real estate agency Savills to market the 999-year leasehold property.

A spokeswoman for the joint venture told Reuters that the sale would not affect a 55-year operating lease currently held by U.S.-based entertainment presenter AEG.

“It is MDL’s long lease that is being marketed, which includes the 1.5 million pound rental income from AEG for the O2,” she said, adding that scheduled shows were proceeding.

The spokeswoman declined to comment on media reports that have priced the dome-shaped property — originally dubbed the Millennium Dome — at 35 million pounds.

UK property firms have been lining up assets for sale in the current market downturn as they seek to reduce debt and protect dividends.

British Land announced on Monday that it had sold a 50 percent stake in the Meadowhall Shopping Centre for 587.7 million pounds, while Land Securities Group sold its subsidiary Trillium in January.

Reporting by Daryl Loo; editing by Karen Foster

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