Travelodge seeks new owner
Travelodge has confirmed that it is up for sale as the current owners look set to exit from the investment they made in the business nearly three years ago. A figure of £1b has been touted for the portfolio of 519 properties across the UK, Spain and Ireland.
American hedge funds Avenue Capital and GoldenTree Asset Management joined forces with US bank Goldman Sachs in 2012 to take over ownership of the group from Dubai International Capital.
The trio of businesses secured the future of Travelodge as it struggled with debts of more than £1b and came close to collapse. They initiated a debt-for-equity swap and company voluntary arrangement, enabling the group to put in place a £100m renovation programme.
A spokesperson for Travelodge said: "Our shareholders are not natural long term holders of a hotel business and they are working with Deutsche Bank to explore their options for the future".
Revpar increased during the period by 15.2% to £35.87 (2014: £31.14), while average room rate grew 11.4% to £48.19 (204: £43.27). Occupancy was up 2.4 percentage points to 74.4% from 72% in 2014.
Peter Gowers, chief executive of Travelodge (pictured here with puppets for the group's recent advertisement campaign), said that the company had been boosted by the improvements, which have included the introduction of separate beds for children, undertaken over the past two years.
"Our development momentum is beginning to accelerate. We opened five hotels in the first half of the year and we expect to open a further 45 over the next 24 months."
"We have already exchanged contracts for more new rooms in the first half of 2015 than we did in the whole of 2014. Boosted by our strong trading performance and the attractions of the value segment, major developers and financial institutions are showing their confidence in the future of new Travelodge."
Travelodge was launched 30 years ago with the opening of its first hotel on the A38 at Burton-on-Trent.
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