Travelodge owner Permira is poised to sell the majority of its chain of budget hotels to property entrepreneur Nick Leslau and private equity group West Coast Capital.
|The Permira-owned Travelodge hotel in London's Docklands|
Leslau and West Coast Capital are understood to be in advanced negotiations with Permira to buy 135 of its 240 hotels for about £400m.
The deal will see Permira sell its entire Travelodge freehold estate and then lease them back for periods of between 25 and 35 years. Permira's sale of all its freehold properties is said to be a first for a major UK hotel chain.
Permira bought Travelodge in December 2002 for £712m from contract catering giant Compass. Earlier this summer it launched a search for a property group to take over the hotel sites and appointed consultants CBRE Hotels to manage the process. A list of 30 potential candidates was drawn up.
Travelodge refused to comment, branding the news "speculation" and saying that no deal had yet been done.