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LONDON-The 90,000 guaranteed annuity policyholders of the Equitable Life Assurance Society who were wondering if the company had enough money to pay them can sleep a tiny bit easier. The Equitable’s court battle over what it owes and to whom, which ended in the House of Lords, left it with at least £1.5 billion ($2.2 billion) in liabilities. It has clawed back a miniscule part of that in a recent hotel deal.

Acting for Equitable Life Assurance Society, Clerical Medical Investment Management sold the freehold interest in the Heathrow Park Hotel, Bath Road, Longford, Middlesex to a private property company. The price achieved of £13.3 million ($19.5 million) reflected a net initial yield of 5.68%, against a £11.455 million ($16.75 million) asking price.

Occupying a prime location on the Bath Road, the property comprises a 310-bedroom hotel, together with banqueting and conference facilities, and totals approximately 164,688 sf. The total site area extends to approximately 8.8 acres.

The entire property is let to a subsidiary of Thistle Hotels for a further 167 years, at a reversionary passing rent of £787,500 ($1.15 million) per annum. The next rent review is due in December 2010.

Legat Corbishley and Lambert Smith Hampton acted for the purchaser and Jones Lang LaSalle represented Equitable Life.

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