LONDON (AP) _ The Cavern Club, the Liverpool nightclub where the Beatles launched their career in the early 1960s, was sold Thursday as part of a $16 million deal.

London-based Warner Estate Holdings plans to renovate the Cavern Walks complex of shops and offices in which the famed club stands.

The company, which bought the complex from British investment company Moorfield Capital Partners, said it will leave the Cavern Club itself largely unaltered.

``The Cavern itself is the Cavern, you don't want to be changing too much about that,'' property director Richard Moore said.

Warner paid a total of $142 million for seven properties around England, but the jewel was the Cavern Club.

``It's exciting, very exciting. You don't get very many opportunities to buy something with a name like that these days,'' Moore said.

The Beatles first played at the Cavern in 1961, after returning from appearances in Hamburg, Germany.