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Whitbread snaps up two Travelodge hotels

16 November 2020 by
Whitbread snaps up two Travelodge hotels

Premier Inn owner Whitbread has exchanged contracts to convert two Travelodge hotels into Premier Inns.

The agreements are with separate private landlords of the Travelodge Bury St Edmunds and Travelodge London Uxbridge.

Mark Anderson, managing director for property and international at Whitbread, said: "Securing new Premier Inn hotels in Bury St Edmunds and Uxbridge is a strategic investment by Whitbread in popular markets for business and leisure travel. It's part of our ongoing strategy of growing market share, through Whitbread's strong balance sheet and financial flexibility and resilience, in locations where we are underrepresented and where we see opportunities to create long-term value for our shareholders and guests."

The timescale for converting the hotels has not yet been confirmed.

Travelodge's acrimonious company voluntary arrangement (CVA) earlier this year included a break clause allowing landlords to terminate leases and re-let the hotels without penalty before the end of the year.

Two new platforms, Ago Hotels and Goodnight Hotels, were launched to tempt disgruntled landlords into exercising their break clause and rebrand. Landlord Secure Income REIT cast a vote of confidence in the group last month, announcing it would be sticking with the leases of its 123 Travelodge hotels.

At the time the group said Travelodge "remains one of the best-in-class operators in the low-cost hotel sector and the terms offered by any replacement would carry unacceptable risks for the company". However, hundreds of undecided Travelodge landlords could still enact their break clauses and, in doing so, seriously weaken the brand.

Founded in 1985, Travelodge is the second largest hotel brand in the UK, based on number of hotels and rooms operated, below Whitbread's Premier Inn brand.

Travelodge leases, franchises, manages and owns around 591 hotels, mostly in the UK but also in Ireland and Spain, and is owned by funds managed by GoldenTree Asset Management, Goldman Sachs Group and Avenue Capital Group.

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