The acquisition of Forestdale, which owns a collection of 18 three-star hotels across England, was funded with a mixture of equity, deferred consideration and a new £32m 18-year credit facility provided by Lloyds Banking Group. It has an annual turnover of around £30m and employs 900 people.
The transaction increases the number of hotels in the Akkeron group to 26. The Flodigarry Country House Hotel on the Isle of Skye, which is owned personally by Forestdale's principal shareholder Robin Collins, is separate from Forestdale and will be retained by him.
Akkeron said it will invest in its new properties, with a view to improving their offerings and repositioning some within their local markets, as well as its personnel.
Matthew Welbourn, managing director of Akkeron, said the Forestdale hotels will form an important part of the Akkeron portfolio before confriming that the group remains on the acquisition trail.
"Whilst the trading outlook for regional hotel operators in the UK remains challenging, we continue to see exciting opportunities to acquire high quality hotel assets that will benefit from capital investment and the operational expertise that an operator of scale can provide, and we expect to make further announcements over the next year," he said.
Akkeron was formed last December when it bought eight properties from Folio Hotels after it went into administration in 2008. The Vineyard Group was formed at the same time after it took the management contracts of a further seven Folio hotels back in house.
By Janie Stamford
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