UOL buys first major development site in London

SINGAPORE - UOL Group has bought a land site in London for its first major development in Europe.

The Singapore-listed property developer bought Heron Plaza in Bishopsgate from Heron International, the two companies said in a joint statement on Thursday.

UOL can build a luxury hotel, residential and retail development of up to 43 stories on the Heron Plaza site, the statement said. The project can comprise about 562,000 sq ft of gross floor area.

UOL will operate the planned five-star luxury hotel under its Pan Pacific brand.

"We are delighted to have acquired this prime site in London's central financial district as part of our overseas strategic expansion," said UOL's group chief executive Gwee Lian Kheng.

Heron International's chief executive Gerald Ronson said that Heron Plaza is a "landmark site in the heart of the City of London, which we have owned for almost 15 years".

He added: "The demand for the site demonstrated that there is significant international interest in acquiring prime London assets and we are capitalising on this opportunity."