Accor's Hotelnvest completed the sale and acquisition of 20 hotels in the UK and Ireland, including a £70m deal in December.
The hotel operator's ownership and investment arm was launched in November 2013, alongside Hotel Services, the operating and franchisor part of the business, as Accor adjusted its property strategy to no longer expand through leases to actively look to buy in or reposition many existing rental agreements.
The £70.2m deal was the biggest of 2014 and saw HotelInvest acquire 13 hotels with a total of 1,446 rooms, previously leased from real estate investor Tritax.
The hotels, in eight locations across the UK including London, Manchester, Birmingham and Liverpool, moved from variable lease arrangements to group ownership. HotelInvest UK will manage each property according to its location and profitability, which may result in individual sales and management or franchise opportunities.
Other deals in 2014 included the conversion of Ibis budget hotels in Leicester and Derby from fixed leases to franchises; the raising of capital through the sale of two Novotel hotels in Nottingham and Stevenage to Fairview, which have now been franchised back to Accor UK; and the sale of the Ibis Styles in St Andrew's Square Edinburgh to St James's Hotel Ltd, while retaining the management contract.
HotelInvest has just completed the acquisition of a site in London where a 196-room Ibis hotel will open in 2017 as part of the Canning Town and Custom House Regeneration Programme developed by property group Bouygues UK. A new build 310-room Novotel at Canary Wharf is also due to open that year.
John Ozinga, chief operating officer of HotelInvest, said: "The past 12 months have been an important step forward in the restructuring of our asset portfolio. The operations successfully carried out in the economy and midscale segment by the UK teams are fully aligned with HotelInvest's strategy which is to become the largest and best performing hotel investor in Europe."