Budget hotel group Travelodge is aiming to secure a £100m war chest to take over going-concern hotels from existing operators, banks and administrators.
The company has teamed up with property fund manager Meghraj Properties Limited in a bid to raise £40m of equity, supplemented by £60m of loans. Meghraj clients have already committed £20m, while Travelodge will invest a further £500,000.
The Tamesis fund, which will be chaired by Malcolm King, former senior partner at property consultancy King Sturge, intends to purchase between eight and 14 hotels which will then be leased to Travelodge.
Paul Harvey, managing director of development at Travelodge, said the company had been contacted by a "substantial amount" of owners and administrators last summer looking to sell hotels.
"What stopped negotiations moving forward on many of the sites were the excessive valuations placed on the properties," he said. "Having this fund will enable Travelodge to move quickly and acquire hotels in mature markets, ensuring we leave the recession in a stronger position than we entered."
Over the last 15 months, Travelodge has acquired 13 hotels: six hotels from Menzies (Edinburgh, Bath, Newcastle, Coventry, Oldham and Stevenage); two hotels from Swallow (Scarborough and Edinburgh) and three hotels from the administrators of the Real Hotel Group (Sheffield, Tewkesbury and Derby).
By Gemma Sharkey
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