Queensgate Completes 4 Grange Hotels Deal for £1bn

Main Photo: The Grange St Paul’s Hotel

Date: March 2019

Location: 4 hotels in London, UK

Name: Currently Grange City, Grange St Paul’s, Grange Tower Bridge and Grange Holborn; The Tower Bridge, St Paul’s and City hotels will become Leonardo Royals, and Holborn will become the group’s first NYX Hotel by Leonardo Hotels in the UK – refurb to be completed by 2020.

No. of Keys: 1,338

Seller: Grange Hotels, privately owned by brothers Harpal, Raj and Tony Matharu. The original deal was reported by THPT last November and was under speculation from 2017. Grange had 17 hotels, so this leaves the smaller 13 still in the group, mostly in London. Word has it that they will be happily sell the very small ones. The prize is probably The Rochester in Victoria.

Buyer: Queensgate Investments, which owns Generator Hostels and the Holiday Inn London Kensington Forum and have now partnered by with Leonardo Hotels to brand and operate.

which owns Generator Hostels and the Holiday Inn London Kensington Forum.

The Israeli-based Fattal Hotel Group has acquired the long-term lease on all four hotels, marking its first entry into the central London market. The hotels will be operated by Jurys Inn & Leonardo Hotels UK and Ireland, Fattal’s European arm.

The rebrands are set to take place in “a matter of weeks” according to Jason Carruthers, managing director of Jurys Inn & Leonardo Hotels UK and Ireland.

Speaking to The Caterer, Carruthers added that the hotels will undergo “transformational refurbishments”, which are expected to mostly be completed by early 2020.

“Our intention for growth is very much now being realised,” said Carruthers, describing the properties as “too good an opportunity to miss”, with London being an “obvious opportunity” for the group and the acquisition just the start of further expansion plans in the city.

He confirmed the group is looking at a number of sites in London for Leonardo, and is also looking at cities like Manchester, Liverpool and Glasgow.

The hotel group hopes to increase its room stock by approximately 10% per annum, equating to three to four hotels per year, “we’ve certainly got that in our pipeline at the moment – some in London, some outside of London,” said Carruthers.

“We are considering other opportunities for the Nyx brand but Leonardo and Leonardo Royal will be our main vehicles for our growth,” he added.

Jurys Inn & Leonardo Hotels UK and Ireland now has 53 hotels and more than 11,000 rooms under management. Before the acquisition the group’s only London properties included two Jurys Inn hotels in Watford and Croydon and a Leonardo hotel at Heathrow Airport.

In August, Fattal revealed plans to invest £32m in the redevelopment and expansion of the existing Jurys Inn Edinburgh hotel and its neighbouring site. The investment includes proposed plans to extend the existing Jurys Inn by 100+ rooms and convert an adjacent listed building into a new 131-bedroom NYX-branded.

Jurys Inn was merged with Leonardo in 2017 when Fattal and Swedish hotel investment company Pandox acquired the portfolio for £800m.

Fattal also acquired a site on Manchester’s Adair Street in December where it will open a 275-bedroom Leonardo hotel in 2021, and the leasehold of the 173-room Grand Harbour hotel in Southampton from US hospitality group Westmont for £29m last year.

Pandox entered into an agreement to acquire Manchester’s Midland hotel for £115m from Aprirose last year, with a bedroom refurbishment programme set to launch this summer.

Jurys Inn and Leonardo Hotels UK and Ireland is also exploring a possible sale of two of its Leonardo hotels in Scotland, expanding its Inverness and Oxford Jurys Inn hotels, and refurbishing its Exeter and Croydon properties. “The Jurys Inn estate will not stand still,” added Carruthers.

Price: Almost £1bn

Price per Key: Around £747,384

THPT Comment: This has been on the cards for a while...Good to see a deal done…Leave 13 hotels still to go? Or will the Matharu brother hang to any? Great price for the brothers. Leonardo has become a major force here in the UK from a cold start-up before it’s deal with Jurys.

First Seen: The Caterer

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