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Rumours point to QMH name change

26 August 2004
Rumours point to QMH name change

Speculation is growing regarding the possible future shape and even identity of hotel chain Queens Moat Houses once it has been taken over by investment bank Goldman Sachs.

Earlier this month it was announced that the debt-laden hotel chain was to be rescued by finance group Whitehall Funds, which is owned by Goldman Sachs, as part of a £544m restructuring deal.

City analysts are now focusing on what this might mean for QMH's 80 or so hotels in the UK, Germany and the Netherlands.

A source close to the company said that while no formal decision is believed to have been made, there's a strong possibility the hotels could be converted into Holiday Inns.

Goldman and its operating partner Westmont Hospitality already own and manage Holiday Inns across Europe, and are thought to be keen to expand the chain's presence in the UK.

Another option could be a rumoured approach by Hilton for a franchise deal covering some of the properties.

A third option, which also appears to be gaining ground, is simply to keep the hotels operating under the Queens Moat brand.

"A lot of time and money has been invested in developing the Queens Moat brand and it may have a certain amount of equity, more than might be assumed. But no decision has been made," said the source.

by Nic Paton

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