Hotel du Vin and Malmaison will reportedly be put on the market for £700m today after Marylebone Warwick Balfour (MWB) opted to pursue an outright sale of its hotel business.
The decision, to be revealed in an information memorandum according to The Times, comes as a surprise just two weeks after the company announced that it had retained Bank of America to advise it on a £450m-plus sale of the underlying assets while retaining operational control.
A "source close to MWB" told The Times: "Following the appointment of Bank of America to sell just the assets, we've been swamped with interest from people wanting to buy the whole lot."
Selling the hotels business for £700m would leave MWB with about £300m in cash after the payment of about £400m debt borrowed against the Malmaison and Hotel du Vin division.
The proposed sale of the two brands follows the collapse last month of the sale of the underlying assets to Vector Hospitality, the real estate investment trust.
By Daniel Thomas