|By Mark Foxwell, Financial Mail on
Sunday, LondonMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
May 01, 2011--Giorgio Armani, the man behind one of the world's biggest fashion chains, is in talks with advisers over funding to build his first hotel in Britain.
The 200-plus room luxury venue could be built in Knightsbridge, west London, near the iconic Harrods store.
Financial Mail understands that the Italian fashion designer, through his Armani Hotels subsidiary, is in early stage talks about the venture. Among options under consideration is whether to convert office space or an old hotel into a UKpound300 million-plus site.
Armani is looking to tap into the thriving hotel market in the capital to keep up with competition from companies and sovereign wealth funds that are snapping up trophy assets such as the Grosvenor House hotel.
The scheme is a key element in Armani's plans to build a hotel empire on the back of his successful fashion chain.
He opened his first hotel in Dubai in collaboration with Emaar Properties in April last year and has a hotel in Milan. The two companies are working together on possible expansion in Paris, New York, Tokyo and Shanghai.
Armani is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the interior design and style of the hotels. Dubai-based Emaar Properties is responsible for construction.
Both companies declined to make any comment.
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Copyright (c) 2011, Financial Mail on Sunday, London
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