Private equity firm BC Partners to bid up to £750m for Travelodge?

23 June 2006
Private equity firm BC Partners to bid up to £750m for Travelodge?

Private equity company BC Partners is believed to be preparing a bid for budget hotel chain Travelodge worth between £700m and £750m.

A spokeswoman for BC Partners confirmed the group was interested in Travelodge but declined to comment further.

However, she also said the £750m figure quoted in press reports today was much "closer to the mark" than the £950m that has previously been reported.

BC Partners' current leisure interests include the Fitness First health club chain. In January 2006, it bought a 52% stake in Hyatt Regency Hotels and Tourism, which operates a string of casinos in Europe along with the Hyatt hotel in Thessaloniki, Greece.

Travelodge declined to comment on reports it had received preliminary offer letters from several potential buyers.

"We have had names being thrown in the ring since January," said Greg Dawson, director of communications at Travelodge.

Dawson did concede, however, that the strategic review being conducted by USB Warburg into the chain's future had stimulated interest from a number of parties.

Options being considered by private equity group Permira, which acquired Travelodge in early 2003, include refinancing, a sale, flotation or a management buyout.

Other names linked with a bid include Starwood Capital (which owns the 800-strong French budget chain Societe de Louvre), French hotel operator Accor, and rival budget hotel operator Whitbread.

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By Angela Frewin

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