Corus Hotels is in the final stage of talks to sell off a package of six properties valued at £46m. The sale, expected to be completed before Christmas, is being run by property agent FPD Savills and includes the 138-bedroom Richmond Hill and 68-bedroom Richmond Gate hotels in Surrey, as well as at least one property in the Midlands.
Industry sources confirm at least two groups of bidders are locked in battle for the hotels. Leading one group is former Corus managing director Nicholas Crawley, who helped set up the chain as Regal Hotels in 1993. Crawley resigned as chief executive of Four Pillars Hotels in October, and was managing director of the Scotsman Group until a management shake-up in November 2001. He declined to comment on the deal.
A spokesman for Corus said discussions were in an advanced stage but wouldn't comment further. The identity of the other contenders is unknown.
The company has 62 mainly freehold hotels, and is owned by London Vista, which is part of Malayan United Industries. Corus first announced its intention to streamline operations in January 2003.
Source: Caterer & Hotelkeeper magazine, 16 December 2004