UK top of the table for hotel sales in Europe

23 June 2005
UK top of the table for hotel sales in Europe

The UK is the hotbed of Europe when it comes to hotel sales, according to a report on hotel investment.

Property agent Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels (JLLH) found that hotel sales across Europe in the six months to June nearly doubled to 6.4b (4.2b), well up on the €3.8b (£2.5b) reported for the first half of 2004.

The UK was responsible for 75% of the €4.8b (£3.2b) trade in hotel portfolios and for 58% of sales of single properties, which totalled €2b (£1.3b) across Europe.

The biggest UK deal was the £1b sale of 73 hotels by InterContinental Hotels Group, linked mostly to management contracts. Next in size was the £710m sale of 46 hotels by Whitbread into a joint venture with Marriott.

The sale of 11 Hiltons, seven Thistle hotels, and a majority stake in Menzies Hotels bolstered the UK's standing as the hot spot of activity.
On the Continent, the most significant package deal was Accor's sale and leaseback of 128 hotels for more than €1b (£670,000).

The biggest single-asset deals were the £225m sale of the Savoy in London and the £186m sale of the De Vere Belfry in Wishaw, Warwickshire.

Mark Wynne-Smith, chief executive officer at JLLH, believes 2005 could come close to matching the record €9b (£6b) of hotel sales achieved in 2001. He forecast a 10% rise in portfolio transactions compared with 2004, and a 5% increase in the disposal of single hotels.

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