Industry awaits peel's comeback

01 January 2000
Industry awaits peel's comeback

By Christina Golding

Robert Peel, who stepped down as chief executive from Thistle Hotels last week, will resurface next year with his own hotel company, say industry insiders.

Last week, industry sources were certain that Peel, who is to receive a £500,000 pay-off plus bonuses, will be back in business after February, when he leaves the Thistle board.

Since last year's flotation, Thistle has missed profit forecasts, while shares have continued to trade at less than the 170p flotation price.

The situation came to a head last week after a major review by Brierley Investments, which owns 46% of Thistle.

Rodney Price, non-executive chairman and a director of Brierley Investments, said: "Despite his best efforts, the past 12 months has seen a number of profit downgrades and Thistle has been perceived as a weak performer. We agreed the best way was for Robert to retire."

Price blamed the group's refurbishment programme for Thistle's poor performance, while City analysts claimed Peel's unwillingness to sell underperforming hotels was also a factor.

Peel, who was not available for comment, is expected to seek out a group of properties for a new venture next year.

"I can't see him just retiring: his whole life is hotels," said an industry source.

Brierley is understood to be keen to off-load its share in Thistle. It is rumoured that Peel's departure will clear the way for a bid, merger or management deal with a rival, such as Jarvis Hotels, although this was dismissed as "purely hypothetical" by the company's chairman, John Jarvis.

Singaporean hotel group CDL, which owns the Millennium & Copthorne chain and is part of a consortium with a 20% stake in Brierley, is also said to have a keen eye on Thistle's London properties.

The Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email

Start the working day with The Caterer’s free breakfast briefing email

Sign Up and manage your preferences below

Check mark icon
Thank you

You have successfully signed up for the Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email and will hear from us soon!

Jacobs Media is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.


Ad Blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an adblocker and – although we support freedom of choice – we would like to ask you to enable ads on our site. They are an important revenue source which supports free access of our website's content, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.

trade tracker pixel tracking