QMH sheds hotels as share price lifts

01 January 2000
QMH sheds hotels as share price lifts

Queens Moat Houses, which has seen its share price soar on wild bid speculation, has sold two of its surplus hotels for a total of more than £3.5m.

David Price, owner of the Carlton Hotel in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, has bought the County Hotel at Hereford for close to agent Christie & Co's asking price of £1.5m.

Mr Price's son Daniel and his wife Carol Buchanan will run the 60-bedroom hotel, which had a turnover last year of more than £800,000. It is to undergo a refurbishment costing £100,000-£200,000 and will shortly be renamed the Three Counties Hotel.

Last week, QMH also finalised a deal on the Orwell Hotel in Felixstowe, Suffolk, which has been sold to its general manager Nick Button and two other local businessmen for close to the asking price of £2m.

Mr Button, who will continue as general manager, has worked at the 58-bedroom hotel for 22 years. It will continue trading under the same name. Last year it had a turnover of £1.3m.

The sale of the two hotels may have been a minor factor in the jump in the group's share price last week, though the City was talking of a possible bid from either Bass or the Barclay brothers.

The implications of the Granada/Forte bid on hotel valuations might be the more likely explanation.

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