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Principal Hotel Company to make £200m from 20 disposals

Hotel company says disposals formed key part of shareholders' strategy to transform larger properties

Pictured: the relaunched De Vere brand comes under the Principal Hotel Company umbrella

Principal Hotel Company is on track to make 20 hotel disposals by the end of the year.

The disposal programme is a key part of Principal’s strategy to focus on its city hotels under the PRINCIPAL brand and its country estate hotels, recently relaunched under the De Vere brand. Of the 20 hotels to be sold by the year’s end for proceeds of £200m, 17 hotels have already exchanged or completed.

The disposals completed to date include Gorse Hill near Woking, Kenwood Hall in Sheffield, New Place in Southampton, The Oxford Witney Hotel and Warbrook House in Hampshire, to a variety of buyers including overseas investors, UK-based investment funds and high net worth individuals.

Two of the three remaining hotels to be sold are currently being marketed by Christie & Co - Theobalds Estate in Cheshunt and Wychwood Park in Crewe - with another hotel being under offer.

Tony Troy, Principal Hotel Company CEO, said: “The disposal of our non-core hotels and venues was a key part of the shareholders’ strategy to focus the company on transforming its larger properties into what we now believe is the finest collection of UK hotels ever to be assembled under one group. It also enables the management team to concentrate on delivering a best in class service offering in the newly renovated core estate under the two brands; PRINCIPAL and De Vere.

“We are also continuing to acquire and develop landmark hotels in strategic city centre locations, such as The Grand Hotel in Birmingham and Martins Bank in Liverpool, as part of expanding our PRINCIPAL brand. These developments will take the total capital investment across the company to over £250m once complete.”

James Burrell, chief financial officer of The Principal Hotel Company, added: “Proceeds from our disposals are being re-invested into the prominent city hotel renovations under the PRINCIPAL brand, plus creating some of the best country estate hotels and modern event spaces in the UK under the De Vere brand.”

Since acquiring Principal Hayley, De Vere Venues and Four Pillars in separate transactions during 2013 and 2014, Starwood Capital Group has combined these three brands under one umbrella; The Principal Hotel Company.

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