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Soho House receives offers of up to £300m – For more hospitality stories, see what the weekend papers say

04 April 2011 by
Soho House receives offers of up to £300m – For more hospitality stories, see what the weekend papers say

Soho House receives offers of up to £300m The two owners of the Soho House chain of private members' clubs have received a number of takeover approaches from private equity firms, one valuing the group at £300m. The offers, which have been rebuffed, are thought to have stemmed from founder Nick Jones's search for a backer to buy out the 80% stake owned by restaurateur Richard Caring. The two have differing views on group strategy, with Caring favouring a roll-out of franchises to new sites such as India, Brazil and Singapore while Jones wants to stick with wholly-owned properties. - 3 April
Read thefull articlein the Sunday Telegraph >>

Jamie Oliver likens threat to healthy school meals to ‘child abuse' Celebrity Jamie Oliver has written in The Observer of his fears that rising food prices and Government cuts could derail his drive for healthy schools meals. Prices are set to rise from Monday as the Government subsidy for school dinners ceases to be ring-fenced and can be diverted to other budgets. According to The Observer
Read thefull articlein the Observer >>

Macdonald Hotels seeks growth from spas, golf and restaurants Macdonald Hotels is investing £10m in its 44 properties this year as it seeks to improve its spa, restaurant and golf offering and diversify from its core business and conference market, which has been hard hit by the recession. The group will complete a £4m spa and swimming pool at the Inchyra hotel in Polmont next month, plans to relaunch its golf holidays later this year, and will introduce initiatives such as a Scottish steak club to promote its hotel restaurants. Chief executive David Guile said the group's spa business was up by 20% and he anticipated a strong short-stay market as fewer Britons took two-week package holidays. Although the conference market was returning, Guile said it was "very inconsistent". Macdonald Hotels, which clinched a £340m debt facility with Lloyds last autumn, has increased profits by 10% on turnover 4% ahead during the 10 months to September 2010. - 3 April
Read thefull articlein Scotland on Sunday >>

Wales's first Krispy Kreme store attracts queue of 1000-plus More than 1,000 customers queued around the block for up to two hours in Cardiff for free doughnuts at the first Krispy Kreme outlet to open in Wales. Staff at the new outlet in St David's Centre served up 12,000 doughnuts in just 20 minutes. The numbers were double those who queued for an iPad2 in the city last week. Krispy Kreme opened its first UK store in Harrods in 2003 and now has 45 outlets nationwide. - 2 April
Read thefull articlein the Daily Mail >>

Shanti Hospitality Group buys Edinburgh hotel Shanti Hospitality Group - which owns the Moti Mahal restaurant in London - has made its first foray into the European hotel market with the acquisition of Number Ten Hotel in Gloucester Place, Edinburgh. The hotel, which is outperforming the market in terms of occupancy and average room rate, will be managed by one of Shanti's brands, which include Nira Hotels & Resorts, Ananda, Ista Hotels, Amritara Hotels and Nidra Hotels. Shanti is a big player in India and Mauritius, where it owns the five-star Shanti Maurice resort. "We expect 2012 to be an interesting year for UK tourism off the back of the Olympic Games coming to London," said Shanti director Bhanu Choudhrie. "Foreign and domestic tourism to Edinburgh is strong, and we believe that summer 2012 will witness an influx of foreign visitors which will springboard this inspiring capital into an even stronger position." - 2 April
Read thefull articlein the Scotsman >>

Gleneagles' Peter Lederer to chair new leadership school for hospitality Gleneagles chairman Peter Lederer last week became chairman of the International Leadership School in Scotland which he says provides the "missing bit" in the effort to rejuvenate Scottish tourism, which has stalled in recent years. Lederer, who was formerly chairman of tourism body VisitScotland, attacked the "unrealistic" targets he claims plagued his tenure at the quango, which he believes needs to be further streamlined. The school is aimed at providing top-level business skills to managers in the hospitality market and will launch in January with an initial intake of 25 students. - 3 April
Read thefull articlein Scotland on Sunday >>

Epidemiologist calls for tax on junk food ingredients A leading epidemiologist has called for the key ingredients in junk food to be taxed to tackle soaring rates of obesity and diabetes while earning the Treasury an extra £38b a year that would cover much of the interest on national debt or pay for one-third of the NHS. Sir Nicholas Wald, director of the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine in London, has suggested a levy of 1p per gram of sugar, saturated fats and alcohol, and 1p per tenth of a gram of salt. The tax would affect fast food, ready meals, soft drinks and alcohol and would increase the cost of a Big Mac or portion of Chicken NcNuggets from £2.49 to £2.88. - 3 April
Read thefull articlein the Observer >>

By Angela Frewin

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