Singapore-based property and investment company Fragrance Group has made its third major hotel acquisition in the UK this year after snapping up the 85-bedroom Townhouse hotel in Manchester for £12.5m.
Bespoke Hotels is to take over the management of the property, which has been sold by Dublin-based Harcourt Developments, and since 2011 has been operated by Macdonald Hotels & Resorts.
In February, Fragrance bought the four-AA-star, 180-bedroom Imperial hotel in Blackpool, for £12.8m. Five months later it added the 141-bedroom Palace hotel in Torquay, off a guide price of more than £10m. The Palace has since closed to undertake "an extensive redevelopment".
Located on Portland Street, the Grade II-listed Townhouse hotel was built in 1870 as a cotton townhouse, before being converted to a hotel in 1982. An extensive refurbishment programme in 2010 created the current boutique hotel offer, with a brasserie, bar and business centre.
James Koh, founder, chairman and chief executive of of Fragrance Group said: "The city forms a cornerstone of our UK investment strategy, and the Townhouse is a property that we view as having tremendous potential within this. We are excited to be investing in Manchester at a time when it is rapidly establishing itself as one of the foremost destinations in Europe, both commercially and in the eyes of tourists."
Martin Rogers, head of UK hotel transactions at Savills, which represented Fragrance, added: "We are very pleased to have acquired this well-established hotel on behalf of our client. The hotel investment market in the north is performing strongly with transactions totalling £304m in the first half of this year alone."
Alistair Greenhalgh, a director at Lambert Smith Hampton Hotels - Harcourt Development's representative - said that overseas investors had been attracted "in their droves" to the UK since the Brexit vote and subsequent slump in the value of the pound. "The sale of the Townhouse Hotel in Manchester illustrates the current appetite for prime city centre hotels as, yet again, we have seen competitive bidding on a prime asset."
The Townhouse hotel marks the second property in Manchester for the rapidly expanding portfolio of Bespoke Hotels, alongside Hotel Gotham, which now number more than 200 worldwide.
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