Millennium & Copthorne to buy Novotel in Times Square for $346 million

Millennium & Copthorne (M&C) Hotels, a unit of Singapore-owned Hong Leong Group, has inked a deal to buy the Novotel New York Times Square building, strengthening its presence in the iconic Manhattan tourist destination.

The firm said in a statement on Monday that it had entered into an agreement to buy the 34-storey building for US$273.6 million (S$346.3 million) from 226 West Fifty-Second Street, a partnership led by funds affiliated with Apollo Global Management and Chartres Lodging Group.

The hotel is on 226 W 52nd Street, in the Manhattan theatre district.

"The property is an important strategic investment for M&C Hotels and will complement our existing midtown and downtown Manhattan hotels," said the firm's chairmain Kwek Leng Beng.

The deal for the tower, comprising a hotel, office and retail spaces, as well as a penthouse, is expected to be firmed up during the second quarter, said M&C.

The four-star hotel has 480 rooms, and will continue to be managed under the Novotel brand by an affiliate of Accor SA, Europe's largest hotel company.

Once the deal is completed, the firm will take on two leases for the office and retail units as well as the penthouse.

M&C also owns three other hotels in Manhattan, such as the One UN New York, Milennium Broadway Hotel New York and Millenium Hilton New York.