UBS Sells Five-Star Widder Hotel Zurich to Swiss Life

Main Photo: The Design Suite at the Widder Hotel

Date: September 2020

Location: Central Zurich, Switzerland

Name: The Widder Hotel

No. of Keys: 35 rooms and 14 suites – 49

Seller: UBS, the Zurich based bank.

Buyer: UBS is selling a showcase hotel in downtown Zurich to insurer Swiss Life. The moves comes as the Swiss bank refurbishes its headquarters on the city’s most exclusive thoroughfare.

The Zurich-based bank is selling the Widder Hotel in central Zurich to Swiss Life for an undisclosed price, according to a joint statement on Friday.

The surprise sale of the hotel, a 700-year-old site with painted ceiling beams and stone intarsia which was updated by Swiss architect Tilla Theus two years ago, will pour cash into UBS’ coffers at a time when the bank is slashing its spending. “We took a lot of time with the same and have been speaking to investors since the beginning of this year” UBS asset management boss Ulrich Koerner said in a statement.

The buyer, Zurich-based Swiss Life, is entering into a long-term agreement with a hotel group, the Living Circle, controlled by Zurich’s wealthy Anda-Buehrle banking and industrial family. Rooms at the Widder range from 470 Swiss francs ($484.40) a night for a single to 4,000 francs for the penthouse. The Hotel is a member of LHW – Leading Hotels of the World.

UBS bought the Widder in the 1970s as part of an ultimately successful bid to preserve Zurich’s inner city from high-rises. The bank said it is now selling because it won’t need the Widder, which it still uses for seminars and conferences, after a refurbish of its nearby 100-year-old Bahnhofstrasse headquarters, due to end early next year.

THPT Comment: The move fits with sales of other banks including Credit Suisse, which sold prime Zurich real estate including the Leuenhof to shore up its cash. Credit Suisse stills own the Savoy, a luxury hotel situated across both UBS and Credit Suisse offices on central Paradeplatz…..bit of a worry when banks need to shore up their cash!

First Seen: Finews

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