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Whitbread to confirm sale of leisure division – For more hospitality stories, see what the weekend papers say

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Whitbread to confirm sale of leisure division – For more hospitality stories, see what the weekend papers say
Written by:

Whitbread to confirm sale of leisure division
Whitbread chief executive Alan Parker is likely to confirm that he is ready to accept a bid of around £1b for its David Lloyd Leisure operations. Parker has already disposed of assets worth £1.8b since conducting a sweeping review of activities in October 2004 and potential bidders are said to be running their eyes over remaining businesses, which include the Costa coffee shop chain and Premier Travel Inns together with Beefeater and Brewers Fayre pub restaurants. – Sunday Herald, 22 April

David Lloyd’s son to bid for David Lloyd chain
Scott Lloyd, son of former tennis professional David Lloyd, is leading a near £1b bid to buy back his father’s eponymous tennis and leisure centres from Whitbread. He is likely to go head-to-head with property tycoon Robert Tchenguiz, who has teamed up with LA Fitness owner MidOcean Partners. Simon Halabi, who owns Esporta, is also thought to be interested. – Scotland on Sunday, 22 April

Tchenguiz eyes Whitbread leisure chain
Robert Tchenguiz, the property entrepreneur, is considering teaming up with one of the bidders for Whitbread’s £1b David Lloyd Leisure division. Tchenguiz is understood to have held preliminary talks with MidOcean Partners, the private equity firm that owns the LA Fitness chain. – The Times, 21 April

Dawnay Shore Hotels to go for sale and leaseback
Dawnay Shore Hotels (DSH) is believed to be pursuing a £500m-plus sale and leaseback after dropping plans for an outright sale. Although DSH, which is 49.9% owned by the AIM-listed Hotel Corporation, received bids from suitors including the Alternative Hotel Group, the group now appears to believe that it can achieve a higher return by pursuing a sale and leaseback. – The Times, 21 April

Whitbread to bid for Jurys Inns
Whitbread has entered the £680m bid battle for Jurys Inns. The Irish hotel chain has attracted strong interest since it was put up for auction this year. Other contenders for the business are said to include private-equity firm Permira and Robert Tchenguiz, the property tycoon. – Sunday Times, 22 April

McDonald’s posts big earnings jump
McDonald’s said first-quarter earnings rose 22%, boosted by surging sales in Europe and strong demand for its new US menu items. – The Times, 21 April

Travelodge boss to meet with minister
Tourism chiefs have been warned their budgets could be slashed by up to 7% next year, prompting fears that the Government will fail to reap the financial benefits of the London Olympic Games. Grant Hearn, the chief executive of Travelodge, is meeting Shaun Woodward, the tourism minister, in the next fortnight to address the growing £18b tourism deficit between what Britons spend abroad and what is spent by visitors to the UK. – Sunday Telegraph, 22 April

Bahrain property group offer £80m for Hampshire hotel
Premier Group, the investment firm controlled by the Bahraini royal family, is in talks with Barclays to buy the underlying property asset of the Four Seasons Hotel in Hampshire for an estimated £80m. – The Times, 21 April

Three pub groups now in FTSE 100
For the first time, three “pure” pub groups are in the FTSE 100 after Punch Taverns and Mitchells & Butlers joined Enterprise Inns in the listing of the UK’s top businesses. – Mail on Sunday, 22 April

By Bob Gledhill

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