The operator of the Principal and De Vere hotel brands has announced that it will raise £200m from the sale of 20 non-core hotels, which it expects to complete by the end of the year.
The disposals of the hotels will enable the Principal Hotel Company to focus on developing its 13-strong city centre Principal brand and De Vere, which relaunched last week with 22 country estate hotels and venues at its centre. The sale of 17 hotels have already been exchanged or completed.
Hotels to be sold so far include the 114-bedroom Kenwood Hall in Sheffield off a guide price of £6.5m to Vine Hotels, headed by former Football Association chairman and BBC director general Greg Dyke.
The 110-bedroom New Place hotel in Southampton was off-loaded to Bahrain-operated Mokan Hotels Company, and the 61-bedroom Hunton Park hotel in Watford was was acquired by SR Hotels off a guide price of £10m.
Two of the three remaining hotels – 140-bedroom Theobalds Estate in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire (pictured), and 108-bedroom Wychwood Park in Crewe, Cheshire – are currently being marketed by Christie & Co. A third hotel is under offer.
Tony Troy, chief executive of Principal Hotel Company, which is owned by Starwood Capital Group, said: “The disposal of our non-core hotels and venues was a key part of the shareholders’ strategy to focus the company on transforming its larger properties into what we now believe is the finest collection of UK hotels ever to be assembled under one group.
“It also enables the management team to concentrate on delivering a best in class service offering in the newly renovated core estate under the two brands; Principal and De Vere.”
Starwood Capital Group’s hotel portfolio in the UK has been assembled since it acquired the De Vere Venues in 2014, later adding Principal Hayley Group, Four Pillars and two hotels from Town House Collection. It announced the launch of the Principal Hotel Company to consolidate its hotel brands under Principal and De Vere, involving a total investment of £300m, in September 2016.
• De Vere has announced that it is has completed the refurbishment of its meetings and events space at the 222-bedroom Wokefield Estate, near Reading, Berkshire, as part of a wider £10m investment in the property, which includes an 18-hole golf course and 15-acres activity course in the grounds.
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