American private equity company Blackstone has sold the 583-bedroom Doubletree by Hilton, next to the Tower of London, for more than £300m.
In what is one of the largest single hotel transactions of 2016, the property has been acquired by the Bhatia family, who already own the 419-bedroom Hilton Paddington and 298-bedroom Hilton Waldorf hotels in London.
The Doubletree by Hilton has been owned by Blackstone since September 2011 when it was acquired as part of the eight-strong Mint Hotel portfolio for around £600m. Mint Hotels, founded by David Orr and his father Sandy and Donald MacDonald in 1995, was forced into selling the business after building up debt of £417m, largely stemming from the development of the property at the Tower of London and a 553-bedroom hotel in Amsterdam.
The Tower of London hotel was relaunched under Hilton Worldwide's full-service business-focused Doubletree brand soon after Blackstone's acquisition.
Blackstone is currently reducing its investment in the hotel sector having sold former Mint hotels in Glasgow, Birmingham, Bristol and Manchester to Marathon Asset Management last year for around £160m.
And in October, the company announced that it will be selling a 25% stake in Hilton Worldwide for £5.3b to the Chinese HNA Group, reducing its equity in the global hotel group to 21%.
The Bhatia family is headed by Gulshan Bhatia who arrived in the UK from Tanzania in 1976 with her husband and four children. She initially used her life savings to buy a B&B in Paddington and went on to build up the business following the death of her husband.
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