Billionaire property tycoon Robert Tchenguiz has requested a copy of the sale documents for Malmaison and Hotel du Vin, currently being auctioned off by Marylebone Warwick Balfour (MWB).
Tchenguiz is likely to find himself up against Quinlan Private, the Irish property investment firm, and Permira, the private equity firm which owns Principal Hotels, in the bidding process.
Tchenguiz told The Business magazine: "We have a hotel business already and we will look at it to see whether we can buy it."
Malmaison and Hotel Du Vin has been on the market, for a reported £700m, for the past month after Vector Hospitality failed to float as a real estate investment trust (REIT).
The 21 hotels were expected to be acquired on a sale and leaseback basis, with MWB continuing to manage them, but the group decided on a complete sale after gauging the levels of interest.
Tchenguiz is also on the verge of entering a 50-50 joint venture with Mitchells & Butlers which would see the sale and lease back of the pub operators property in a deal worth £4.5b.
By Christopher Walton