Zoffany Hotels has been sold to rival Forestdale Hotels, but its shareholders have immediately set up a new company to buy back four of its ten properties. The net cost of the deal was £25.5m.
Most of Zoffany's hotels were three-star, town centre properties.
Niall Caven, chief executive of the new company, Zola Hotels, explained that Zoffany had been in business for more than ten years and that its majority shareholder, Richard Koch, "has waited patiently for a return on his substantial investments."
Caven, formerly chief executive of Zoffany, along with Koch and operations director Nick Sonley, all have a stake in Zola.
Zola has retained the first and last hotels bought by Zoffany - the Westcliff hotel in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, and the George in Reading - along with the Red Lion in Basingstoke and Highfield House in Southampton.
Caven said the hotels sold to Forestdale were mostly in strong business areas and would complement the buyer's existing hotels, most of which caterer for the leisure market.
The addition of the six Zoffany hotels has boosted Bournemouth-based Forestdale to 19 properties (one in France) and almost doubled its number of bedrooms to over 1,100.
The properties bought by Forestdale were:
|Arno's Manor: sold|
- the Rutland Square hotel in Nottingham
- the Roebuck hotel in Ware; Hertfordshire
- Arno's Manor hotel in Bristol
- the Royal Cambridge hotel in Cambridge
- the Carrington House hotel in Bournemouth
- the Goddard Arms hotel in Swindon, Wiltshire.
Forestdale was set up in 1905 and bought in 1968 by Robin Collins.