De Vere to sell four hotels to fund expansion

Wed, 18 Jan 2012 | DIVISION SALE

De Vere Group is set to sell four of its hotels and one conference venue in order to fund the planned expansion of its Village Hotels operations.

The development of 18 new hotels under the Village Hotels brand over the next few years will be led by the new chief executive Robert Cook, the former Malmaison and Hotel du Vin boss, appointed last week.

The move to sell the hotels was decided in a strategic review by the board, and advised by Lazard. The three De Vere-branded hotels for sale are: the 173-room Grand Harbour in Southampton; the 119-room University Arms in Cambridge and the 140-room Royal Bath in Bournemouth. The Village Daresbury Park hotel in Warrington and one of the smaller De Vere Venues conference centres at the Barony Castle in Peebles near Edinburgh are also for sale.

The cash raised in the sale, estimated to be about £65 million, will be put into the development of three new Village Hotels.

Chairman Mr Coppel said the Village format, costing about £19 million per site, would bring higher returns.

Five of the total 26 Village hotels have been built in the past four years. The hotels provide restaurants, gym and spa facilities, and can also host parties and weddings.

Image shown is of De Vere's Grand Harbour in Southampton.

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