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The Independent Online
Leisure group Ladbroke has sold one of its most prestigious UK hotels to a Hong Kong property company for pounds 100m. The group - which owns Hilton International - has announced that it has sold the freehold interest in the Langham Hilton Hotel in central London to Great Eagle Holdings.

Hilton International will continue to operate the hotel under a management contract. Ladbroke said it has received a pounds 10m deposit. The balance is due on completion, which is expected to take place in August. The proceeds of the sale are to be used to reduce group debt. The 380-room hotel made an operating profit of pounds 7.5m in the financial year to the end of December 1995.

The original Langham Hotel was opened in 1865 and was known as one of the capital's premier hotels until the 1940s when it was converted to offices. Famous guests who have stayed at Langham in the past include Emperor Louis-Napoleon III, Haile Selassie and Mark Twain.

Ladbroke bought the property, situated on Portland Place opposite Broadcasting House, from the BBC in 1986 and reopened the hotel as a Hilton in 1991.