QHotels is to be the new home for the De Vere Hotels group of six properties, following a protracted period of negotiations.
The addition of the six hotels, including the five-AA-star Cameron House on Loch Lomond and 184 timeshare lodges across three of the hotels, will create a portfolio of 27 properties for QHotels. They will be managed by QHotels managing director Michael Purtill and finance director Ian Goulding. It has not been revealed what Sankaty Advisors and Canyon Capital Advisors, the backers of QHotels, have paid for the deal, but it is believed to be in the region of £160m.
Purtill described the addition of the six hotels as "a really positive move" that will help drive long-term, sustained growth for the QHotels brand. The priority now for the group, he assured, will be to fulfill existing bookings before considering how to develop the hotels in the future.
"The six hotels are an excellent fit as they are renowned for their first-rate facilities, catering and service. This aligns with our guest-first ethos and enables us to effectively expand our UK reach.
"We will be working with each hotel on an individual basis to ensure we build on the best of what they have to offer and complementing this with our experience and expertise. This will help to maximise the conference and events potential of each of the hotels, while strengthening our portfolio in terms of a wider golf, spa and leisure offering."
The former De Vere Hotels, now part of QHotels, are:
•Cameron House, Loch Lomond
•Dunston Hall, Norwich
•Oulton Hall, Leeds
•Mottram Hall, Macclesfield, Cheshire
•Slaley Hall, Hexham, Northumberland
•Belton Woods, Grantham, Lincolnshire
The sell off of the De Vere Group is now near completion, after the disposal earlier this year of its conference and training division De Vere Venues to the Starwood Capital Group for £231m, alongside the sale of individual properties within the hotels portfolio, including the Grand in Brighton.
There is now just De Vere Village Urban Resorts, made-up of 25 mid-market hotels with a strong leisure element, to be offloaded. An announcement regarding their future is expected within the next week.
Andrew Coppel, chief executive of the De Vere Group, was brought on board following a £650m debt-for-equity swap in 2010 to reduce its £1.7b debt, with a view to driving up the value for shareholders in preparation for a sale.