Spanish hotel company the Barceló Group has agreed to pay a penalty fee of £20.25m after pulling out of an agreement early to operate 20 hotels in the UK.
At the end of last year Barceló threatened to quit the UK if its request to Puma Hotels, the owner of the four-star properties, for a reduction in the rent it paid for the hotels was not met.
Puma will now resume the operation of the hotels - which include the 152-bedroom Imperial hotel in Torquay and the 77-bedroom Lygon Arms in Gloucestershire - which it previously managed prior to the signing of a 45-year lease with the Barceló Group in 2007.
Chardon Management, a management company which currently runs 33 hotels throughout the UK, will assist in the operation of the hotels, which will now drop their Barceló branding.
Puma Hotels intends to revive its Paramount Hotels brand following the transfer of the hotels from Barceló on 25 April 2012. Alongside the business transfer agreement with Barceló, Puma has negotiated with its bankers, Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, an option to extend its current debt facility until 31 December 2013.
By Janet Harmer
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