London | UAE-based Indian business tycoon Yusuffali M A has reportedly offered 100-million pounds to buy the iconic old Scotland Yard Headquarters here, which is being turned into a five-star hotel. Great Scotland Yard, the original home of the Metropolitan Police in London, is being eyed by Yusuffali’s Abu Dhabi-based ‘LuLu Group International’.
The historical building is already under a contract to be turned into a five-star hotel by developers Galliard Group. According to sources close to the sale, LuLu was expected to put down a deposit to seal the deal in the next few days, ‘The Sunday Times’ reported. Failing that, Galliard would start an auction to find another buyer.
Great Scotland Yard was chosen as the Met’s headquarters when the force was established in 1829. The police force moved out in 1890 and are now based out of what is known as New Scotland Yard in central London. The current building, which dates from 1910, was used as an army recruitment office in World War I.
Galliard bought a 125-year lease on Great Scotland Yard in late 2013 and set out plans to convert it into a 235-room hotel. LuLu Group has operations in the Middle East spanning food processing, distribution and manufacturing. It is best known for its LuLu grocery stores, Al Falah Plaza shopping centres and EMKE supermarkets.
It has already branched out into hotels and is building Grand Hyatt hotel with a convention centre in Kerala. Last year, 59-year-old Yusuffali, who hails from Kerala, also bought a 10 per cent stake in UK-based trading firm The East India Company and a 40 per cent stake in its fine foods subsidiary for around USD 82 million in total.
In May 2014, it had also announced expansion in Malaysia with plans to open six new halal-only hypermarkets with an investment of USD 200 million.
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