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De Vere to sell five properties ahead of Village Hotels expansion

16 January 2012
De Vere to sell five properties ahead of Village Hotels expansion

De Vere Group is expected to sell four hotels and one conference venue to fund the expansion of its three-star Village Hotels business.

The Times reported that Village Hotels, which has just appointed former Malmaison and Hotel du Vin boss Robert Cook as its chief executive, will develop up to 18 new hotels over the next few years.

Cook's arrival follows the resignation last year of Richard Balfour-Lynn, group chief executive, and finance director Jag Singh, after pressure from Lloyds Banking Group, which controls the company.

The four De Vere hotels up for sale are reported to be: the 173-bedroom Grand Harbour in Southampton; the 140-bedroom Royal Bath in Bournemouth; the 119-bedroom University Arms in Cambridge; and the Village Daresbury Park hotel in Warrington. It is also planning to sell the Barony Castle at Peebles near Edinburgh.

The Times said that the sale of the properties was expected to raise around £65m, which would be used to develop three new-build Village Hotels sites.

De Vere Group was not available for comment.

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By Neil Gerrard

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