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QMH UK puts 11 hotels up for sale for around £150m

17 February 2014 by
QMH UK puts 11 hotels up for sale for around £150m

A total of 11 hotels operated by QMH UK under the Crowne Plaza, Holiday in and Best Western Plus brands have been put up for sale, with a price tag thought to be around £150m.

The nationwide portfolio accounts for around 2,000 rooms within three Crowne Plaza hotels, seven Holiday Inn hotels and one Best Western Plus, in trading locations from Glasgow to Plymouth.

The hotels, being marketed by Christie + Co are:

• Crowne Plaza Chester, 160 bedrooms
• Crowne Plaza Glasgow, 283 bedrooms
• Crowne Plaza Nottingham, 210 bedrooms
• Holiday Inn Doncaster, 102 bedrooms
• Holiday Inn Harrogate, 214 bedrooms
• Holiday Inn Luton South, 140 bedrooms
• Holiday Inn Peterborough West, 133 bedrooms
• Holiday Inn Plymouth, 211 bedrooms
• Holiday Inn Solihull, 120 bedrooms
• Holiday Inn Stratford-upon-Avon, 259 bedrooms
• Best Western Plus Reading Moat House, 129 bedrooms

QMH UK will have just four hotels left once the portfolio of 11 hotels are sold.

The business was born out of the troubled Queens Moat House hotels group, created in the early 1970s by John Bairstow. It grew rapidly in the second half of the 1980s to become one of the UK's largest hotel groups, fuelled by borrowing, but in 1993 it faced a dramatic near-collapse and its shares were suspended. Saddled with enormous debts following an accounting scandal, it breached its borrowing covenants and the bankers took control.

Bairstow was disqualified from being a director for six years after an investigation into Queens Moat House following the publication of its annual results in 1992 that were found to be "false and misleading". Managing director Martin Marcus, finance director David Hersey and deputy finance director Allan Porter were also all disqualified.

In 2004, Queens Moat House was delisted from the London Stock Exchange and was bought by Goldman Sachs in August 2005. The company was then renamed QMH Limited.

Last year, QMH Ltd sold QMH Germany to Israel-based Fattal Hotel Group and other international investors. The QMH Germany portfolio comprised 15 Holiday Inn hotels, four Best Western hotels and one Queens hotel, all located in German cities such as Berlin, Cologne, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hannover or Munich.

Speaking about the sale of the QMH UK hotels, Jeremy Hill, Christie + Co, said: "A portfolio of this standing presents an unmissable opportunity to acquire a high quality, well invested nationwide group of hotels with a profitable trading profile and a leading management team in place. It is a particularly attractive proposition given the growing momentum in the regional hotel marketplace."

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