The De Vere Group's 119-bedroom University Arms hotel in Cambridge is to be sold for an undisclosed sum to real estate investor Melford Capital. Contracts have been exchanged and completion is expected to take place by the end of the month.
The sale of the property is part of De Vere's strategy to focus on being the UK's leading golf resort operator, which was strengthened in the summer by winning the management contract at the Belfry - the four-time host of the Ryder Cup - in the West Midlands. It is also concentrating on growing its Village Urban Resorts brand beyond its 25 existing hotels.
There are now just two non-core properties in the De Vere's hotel division - the Grand Harbour in Southampton, which is the subject of sale negotiations, and the Grand Brighton, which will be marketed for sale in 2014 following completion in May 2013 of a £4.3m refurbishment.
Andrew Coppel, group chief executive of the De Vere Group, said: "This disposal is in line with the strategy which we put in place last December and which has the support of Lloyds Banking Group. We have now sold five non-core properties in difficult markets and continue to make good operational progress across the portfolio as we seek to enhance its value.
"We have also acquired sites for new Village Urban Resorts in Edinburgh and Portsmouth and are negotiating a further five sites to roll out this highly successful format."
Following the sale of the hotels in Cambridge, Southampton and Brighton, the De Vere Hotels division will comprise Cameron House Loch Lomond, Mottram Hall Prestbury, Oulton Hall Leeds, Dunston Hall Norwich, Slaley Hall Newcastle and Belton Woods Grantham, as well as management contracts at the Belfry and Carden Park.
De Vere was advised by Christie + Co and Taylor Wessing on the sale of the University Arms.
By Janet Harmer
E-mail your comments to Janet Harmer here.
Looking for a new job? Find your next job here with Catererandhotelkeeper.com jobs