MWB raises £105m for expansion plans

04 August 2005
MWB raises £105m for expansion plans

Marylebone Warwick Balfour (MWB) has raised £105m to fund the expansion of its two boutique hotel chains - Malmaison and Hotel du Vin - from 16 to at least 25 sites.

The expansion is expected to take place over the next four years.

The group raised £30m in June through the Royal Bank of Scotland, which has gained a 17.5% stake in the Malmaison Group as a result.

MWB has also extended its existing £167m banking facility by an extra £75m loan through partner, the Bank of Scotland.

The eight-strong Malmaison chain will be joined in November by a new hotel built in an historic prison in Oxford. Work started last month on a 131-bedroom hotel in Princes Dock, Liverpool, while a 66-bedroom hotel is planned for Reading town centre.

Managing director Robert Cook said the group was seeking a second London site for Malmaison and planned to take the brand overseas once the current expansion phase was completed in around 2008.

Later this month the group will apply for planning permission to build its eighth Hotel du Vin in Cambridge.

"We need to get a more geographic spread for Hotel du Vin, so we're moving the focus to the North of England and Scotland," Cook added. In keeping with the Hotel du Vin template, Cook is scouring sites in university and cathedral towns such as York, Durham, Chester and Edinburgh.

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