David Coulthard's Columbus hotel up for sale again

23 February 2009 by
David Coulthard's Columbus hotel up for sale again

The Columbus Hotel in Monaco, owned by former Formula 1 racing driver David Coulthard, has been put up for sale again for an estimated £44.7m.

The luxury 181-bedroom Columbus Hotel has been put back on the market after the resolution of a dispute between the four shareholders in the business, including Coulthard, Malmaison founder Ken McCulloch and US millionaire Phillip Morris.

Coulthard and McCulloch were partners in several hotel ventures, including the Columbus in Monaco and the fledgling Dakota chain in the UK, but fell out after Coulthard's accountants claimed that cash was unaccounted for at the Columbus.

The allegation led to a war of lawsuits in Luxembourg, Monaco and London and the former Formula 1 star put the Dakota in Nottingham into liquidation.

However, according to The Times, a peace deal has been brokered by Robert Breare, the leisure entrepreneur, whereby McCulloch has sold his stake in the Columbus for about €5m (£4.4m) to his partner, giving Coulthard a controlling 70%.

The men remain co-owners of Dakota hotels in Glasgow and Edinburgh. The Columbus, which opened in 2001 was originally put up for sale in July 2007 for an estimated price of £33.8m.

David Rugg, chairman of Christie & Co which is handling the sale, said: "The Columbus is a well-established hotel which offers investors an amazing opportunity to own, not only an internationally-acclaimed business, but also one of the very few independently-owned hotels in the Principality.

"We are carrying out a professional sales process to allow those interested to table a bid whilst maintaining full confidentiality."

The Dakota Sherwood Park hotel in Nottingham went into receivership last May, after a similar dispute between McCulloch and Coulthard could not be resolved.

Five star Columbus Hotel in Monaco up for sale>>

Ken McCulloch suffers blow to hotel business plans>>

Ken McCulloch puts Columbus back one year>>

By Gemma Sharkey

E-mail your comments to Gemma Sharkey here.

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