BT Group announces sale of BT Tower to MCR Hotels

BT Group has agreed to the sale of the BT Tower for £275m to MCR Hotels, who plan to preserve BT Tower as an iconic hotel, securing its place as a London landmark for the future.

As the UK heads rapidly into an all-digital future, a number of network operations that were traditionally provided from BT Tower are now delivered via BT Group’s fixed and mobile networks. For example, the Tower’s microwave aerials were removed more than a decade ago, as they were no longer needed to carry telecommunications traffic from London to the rest of the country.

The BT Tower has long been an important site for BT Group’s Media & Broadcast business, as one of the key global interchange points for live television. As part of its long-term strategy, the Media & Broadcast division has already been migrating services onto its cloud-based platform, which will allow a more straightforward move to more modern and efficient premises. This will enable the division to continue to sit at the heart of UK and global media distribution.

Brent Mathews, Property Director, BT Group said: “The BT Tower sits at the heart of London and we’ve been immensely proud to be the owners of this important landmark since 1984. It’s played a vital role in carrying the nation’s calls, messages and TV signals, but increasingly we’re delivering content and communication via other means. This deal with MCR will enable BT Tower to take on a new purpose, preserving this iconic building for decades to come.”

Tyler Morse, CEO and owner of MCR Hotels, said: “We are proud to preserve this beloved building and will work to develop proposals to tell its story as an iconic hotel, opening its doors for generations to enjoy.”

MCR Hotels own around 150 hotels, including the historic landmark Eero Saarinen-designed TWA Hotel in New York City. Payment for the sale will be made over multiple years, as BT Group equipment is progressively removed from the building, with final payment on completion of the purchase.

Additional Info:

The BT Tower is a grade II listed communications tower located in Fitzrovia, London. An iconic part of the London skyline, the main structure is 177 metres (581 ft) high, with a further section of aerial rigging bringing the total height to 189 metres (620 ft). Upon completion in 1964, it overtook the Millbank Tower to become the tallest structure in London until 1980, when it was surpassed by the NatWest Tower.

BT Tower was opened for operations in 1965 by Prime Minister Harold Wilson. As well as acting as a hub for the UK’s communication networks, BT Tower was open to the public until 1971, with a restaurant making use of the revolving top floor. Since 1984, BT Tower has been operated by BT Group, with its top floor regularly hosting corporate and charity events, and its “infoband” screen regularly displaying messages across London.

 BT Group has detailed plans to simplify its operations and lower costs across the company, including reducing the number of offices in its estate from more than 300 to around 30. The company, in a separate deal, sold its former headquarters, BT Centre, in July 2019 for £210 million and moved into a state-of-the-art HQ in 2021 at One Braham, Aldgate. The Tower deal forms part of the simplification of BT Group’s property portfolio.