Whitbread mystery investor revealed – For more hospitality stories, see what the weekend papers say

29 January 2007 by
Whitbread mystery investor revealed – For more hospitality stories, see what the weekend papers say

Mystery investor into Whitbread revealed

Mail on Sunday, 28 January.

Macdonald Hotels in £400m sell-off

Macdonald Hotels and Resorts has sold 24 of its top-rated hotels in a deal worth more than £400m. They have been bought by private equity firm Moorfield Real Estate Fund. The hotels will continue to be run by Macdonald under a short-term management contract and the company is competing with two international rivals for the long-term contract. - Scotland on Sunday, 28 January.

Wetherspoon in legal battle over property losses

JD Wetherspoon has accused its former property agent of causing it to lose £3.35m, the latest development in a bitter legal battle. The claim is understood to have been made in a writ lodged at the High Court and is part of an ongoing action against Van de Berg, Wetherspoon's one-time property agent. - Independent on Sunday, 28 January.

Diners should insist on knowing where produce on the menu has come from

Diners should ask where their meat has come from when they are dining out, urges a new campaign by the Country Land and Business Association who says anyone dining out should ask where their food originated. It is given further impetus by the latest figures from pollster NOP which show that 60% of people believe restaurants should give written information on their menus showing the sources of their meat. - Yorkshire Post, 27 January.

Two chic London hotels tipped for sell-off

Two of London's most fashionable hotels, the St Martins Lane and the Sanderson, are tipped to come up for grabs after moves by Lehman Brothers to offload its stake in the two properties, which are owned jointly by Lehmans and Morgans Hotel Group. - The Times, 27 January.

City Inn to expand into mainland Europe

City Inn, the urban hotel chain launched by two former Macdonald Hotels directors and backed by Bank of Scotland, has confirmed its first move into mainland Europe after agreeing a site in the centre of Amsterdam. The privately owned firm, which currently operates hotels in Glasgow, London, Birmingham and Bristol, said it hoped to have the new establishment open by 2010. - The Scotsman, 27 January.

Jamie Oliver's £58m fortune puts him in line for top business award

Jamie Oliver is one of four high-flyers to have made the shortlist for the title of Entrepreneur of the Year at the European Business Leaders Awards. Oliver, 31, is up against the chief executive of the world's biggest listed hedge fund, Stanley Fink, and Kate Swann, chief executive of WH Smith. Since breaking into television as The Naked Chef, Oliver has built a personal fortune of about £58m. His main UK company last year made £5.9m in pre-tax profits. - Independent on Sunday, 28 January.

Blackpool could be supercasino winner this week

Blackpool is expected to emerge as the winner of the Government's £1b supercasino contract to be announced this week. Licences for a further 16 smaller casinos will be announced on Tuesday. London Dome's bid for supercasino status are thought to be fading. - Mail on Sunday, 28 January.

Jurys hotel family stand to make millions from refinancing deal

The Doyle and Gallagher families are expected to take "hundreds of millions" of euro out of the recent Burlington Hotel/Jurys refinancing deal, according to sources close to the hotel and property magnates. The Burlington Hotel is set to fetch at least €250m (£175m) for the Doyle family. They have resolved to spend the bulk of this sum both on refurbishing the Jurys Inns and on acquisitions. - Irish Independent, 28 January.

Marston's acquire another pub group

Marston's, the brewer and pub operator that acquired Eldridge Pope for £155 million this week, has acquired Sovereign Inns, a chain of 33 tenanted pubs, for £19.4m. - The Times, 27 January.

Pressure on M&B to go into REIT status

Property developer Robert Tchenguiz has raised his stake in Mitchells & Butlers by nearly 3% giving him 16% of the company worth more than £439m. He is thought likely to use his large shareholding to try to pressure M&B into creating a real estate investment trust (REIT). - Mail on Sunday, 28 January.

E-mail your comments to James Garner](mailto:james.garner@rbi.co.uk?subject=Round up of weekend papers) here.

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