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Legal hitch stalls Stardon sales deal

04 August 2005

By Angela Frewin
The sale of four Hilton hotels to Stardon has stalled due to legal complications.
Stardon, a joint venture between US property group Starwood Capital and Glasgow-based Chardon Hotels, bought the properties as part of a package in March. A spokesman for Hilton said that the legal complications and leasehold commitments for the four hotels had proved "more significant than expected".
Maurice Taylor, managing director of Stardon Hotels, said it was up to Hilton to deliver. "The agreement was that Hilton would deliver assignation of the ground leases, and we are still waiting on that," he said. "It is out of our control but, if Hilton can't deliver the agreed terms, then those four hotels won't come over to us."
Stardon took possession of the seven remaining freehold hotels on 19 April and recently announced plans to reopen five as Holiday Inns this September. Taylor confirmed that Stardon was still interested in taking the four remaining hotels if the leases were sorted out.
The properties are the Hilton Bradford, the Hilton London Mews, the Hilton Portsmouth and the Hilton Edinburgh Grosvenor.
A Hilton spokesman said the company would try to resolve the problems and pursue the sale of the hotels, although he was unable to estimate how long this might take. "We will stay in touch with Stardon for the whole period, and the hotels may yet go to them if we can get the problems ironed out," he said.
He added that other potential buyers which had shown an interest in the properties, which are believed to include De Vere Hotels, would also be kept informed of Hilton's progress.

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