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Qatari Diar JV buys Olympic Village for $900m

London, August 13, 2011

London's Olympic Village has been sold for GBP557 million ($903.5 million) to a Delancey and Qatari Diar joint venture (JV) in a deal which sees the JV acquiring homes on the site in Stratford, east London, and its long-term management.

The deal would also include arrangements to provide a future profit-share for the public sector. Qatari Diar is the property arm of Qatar's sovereign wealth fund.

'This is a long-term project for us -- we are looking to retain the neighbourhood and create a place where people will want to live, work and play for years to come,' Delancey's chief executive, Jamie Ritblat, said in the statement.

Delancey and Qatari Diar will buy 1,439 homes that will become private housing after the Olympics, plus six adjacent future development plots with the potential for a further 2,000 new homes.

The majority of the homes would be rented out rather than sold by its new owners, creating a UK private sector residential fund of more than 1,000 homes to be owned and directly managed as an investment, Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) said.

The other half of the village, 1,379 homes, had already been purchased for 268 million pounds and would be run by joint venture Triathlon Homes for affordable housing.

The village cost 1.1 billion pounds to build, and the UK taxpayer is expected to pick-up the shortfall, which equates to about 275 million pounds.

ODA's return is better than it had forecast in 2009 when it said it expected to recoup at least 324 million pounds from the sale of the flats.

'This is a fantastic deal that will give taxpayers a great return and shows how we are securing a legacy from London's Games,' Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport Jeremy Hunt said in a statement.

Originally, the 2,800-apartment village was to be a private venture by developer Lend Lease but the global credit crunch meant investment dried up and the government opted to fund it itself.

Delancey and Qatari Diar beat a rival bid from Hutchison Whampoa , which is Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing's flagship ports-to-telecommunications conglomerate.

They also beat a 1 billion pounds proposal from the Wellcome Trust to take over all the 2.5-kilometre-square Olympic park. – Reuters




Tags: London | Qatari Diar | Olympic village | Delancey | ODA |

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