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TOKYO-GIC Real Estate, the property investment arm of the government of Singapore, has purchased the Westin Tokyo from Starwood Capital Group Global and Morgan Stanley Capital K.K. None of the parties would disclose the price; however, the deal is rumored to be between $717 million and $741 million as estimates have ranged from 77 billion yen and 80 billion yen.

The 438-room, five-star hotel will continue to be operated by Starwood Hotels and Resorts under its Westin brand. It is located in the Ebisu neighborhood in the heart of Tokyo. Starwood currently manages several properties owned by Government of Singapore Investment Corp., including the Westin Sydney and Westin Paris.

Morgan Stanley and Starwood purchased the Tokyo Westin in Dec. 2004 from Japanese brewer Sapporo Holdings. At the time, the price was estimated at 50 billion yen, according to published reports. If the reported figures are correct, that would be a 50% return on the companies’ investment over four years. Officials with both companies could not be reached for comment by press time.

Prior to the sale, affiliates of Starwood Capital and one of Morgan Stanley’s real estate funds each owned a 50% stake in the hotel and the associated operating business, both of which were included in the transaction. During that time, Starwood and Morgan Stanley embarked on a capital investment program focused on renovating the property and improving its operations.

“Given the successful working relationship between the investors, our hotel asset management affiliate, Panorama Hospitality K.K. and Starwood Hotels and Resorts, we are happy to have found GIC Real Estate to take ownership of this landmark property,” Sean Williams, a managing director at Morgan Stanley, says in a prepared release. “The transaction also demonstrates Morgan Stanley’s continued confidence in managing hotel investments.”

Jeffrey Dishner, a senior managing director at Starwood, says “along with Morgan Stanley, we made this investment in Dec. of 2004, and together, through our partnership with the team at Westin, we were able to improve the performance of the hotel. It is with great pride that we pass ownership of the property to GIC Real Estate, a long-term investor in Japan, and a close partner of both Morgan Stanley and Starwood Capital.”

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