Malmaison has emerged as the front runner to buy the original Scotland Yard headquarters, which is being transformed into a luxury hotel.

The chain of British hotels is the likely winner of a race to acquire the five-star hotel on Pall Mall, to be called Great Scotland Yard, and is believed to be paying around £200 million, The Telegraph reported.

Galliard Homes, the London-based development group which owns the site, expects to complete the conversion in 2016.

Plans for the seven-floor building include 235 bedrooms, a VIP suite, a ballroom and a high end restaurant.

Talks had originally been held with representatives of sovereign wealth funds and ultra high-net-worth private investors from the Gulf states, including Qatar and Kuwait, but now Malmaison appears to be in pole position to complete the deal within the next few weeks.

The chain of 13 hotels located in cities such as Oxford, London and Birmingham, is owned by the Denver-based private equity firm KSL which bought it out of administration in March last year.