Two iconic hoteliers Richard Balfour-Lynn and Sir David Michels are thought to be on the verge of announcing the floatation of the first European hotel Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) worth £2.5b.
The head of Marylebone Warwick Balfour (MWB) and former chief executive of Hilton Group respectively have teamed up with the Bank of Scotland and Royal Bank of Scotland to form the hotel property group. It will pool up to 80 hotels under the De Vere, Hilton and Marriott brands, The Times reports today.
The new company is likely to be called Vector and its floatation on the London Stock Exchange, is expected to be announced within a fortnight.
Potentially included in the REIT are thought to be the majority of the De Vere and Village portfolio the former Insignia Style conference group, now rebranded as De Vere Venues, 15 Hilton hotels, the Manchester Marriott Victoria and Albert Hotel, and possibly MWB's Malmaison and Hotel du Vin chains. Plans to include the rest of the £1b Marriott UK portfolio have been postponed.
Balfour-Lynn is expected to be the principal director of the REIT, while Michels will sit on its board and become chairman of Vision, the asset management firm which will liaise between the REIT and the hotel management companies.
Balfour-Lynn's Alternative Hotel Group and the Bank of Scotland bought the De Vere group for more than £1b last year.
By Emily Manson