Europe Hotel Transactions Bulletin - Week Ending 27 August 2021 (September 10, 2021)

Cascade Investment to acquire controlling stake in Four Seasons  

Bill Gates’s private investment vehicle, Cascade Investment, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire half of Kingdom Holding Company’s shares in Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts for a reported €1.87 billion. Cascade and Kingdom have each owned a 47.5% stake in Four Seasons since 2006, with Four Seasons founder Isadore Sharp retaining the remaining 5%.  After this new transaction, Cascade will increase its stake to 71.25%. Prince Alwaleed will continue to own 23.75% and Isadore Sharp 5% (through his Triples Holding Limited). The new deal values Four Seasons at $10 billion, the equivalent of approximately €7.9 billion.

Gem Hotels acquires Wardrobe Court Serviced Apartments in London from British Land 

London-focused hotel operator Gem Hotels has acquired the Grade-II listed Wardrobe Court, a freehold collection of interconnecting town houses in London totalling 92 serviced apartments, from British Land for £70 million (£760,000 per key). The apartments, located in the heart of the City of London near St Paul’s Cathedral, were acquired by British Land in 2011 for £57 million and were first operated by BridgeStreet with an initial reported net yield to British Land of 4.7%. The acquisition by Gem Hotels expands the hotel group’s portfolio to four properties in London. The family-owned hotel operator, which specialises in four-star properties, operates the Fitzrovia Hotel, the Langham Court Hotel and the Strathmore Hotel.

Starwood acquires Hotel Vesterbro, Copenhagen from Strawberry Hospitality 

American private investment firm Starwood Capital has acquired the Danish Hotel Vesterbro from Norwegian billionaire Petter Stordalen’s Strawberry Hospitality Group for 609 million DKK, equivalent to €82 million (€206,000 per room). The 399-bedroom, full-service comfort hotel is the second transaction between Starwood and Strawberry, following the transaction of the 288-bedroom luxury hotel Skt Petri in Copenhagen for €144 million (€500,000 per room) earlier this year. Hotel Vesterbro will continue to be operated by Nordic Choice Hotels, one of Scandinavia’s largest hotel companies, which is owned by Strawberry.

Long Harbour acquires freehold interest in Hampton by Hilton Munich Airport South  

UK-based fund manager Long Harbour has completed a further ground lease transaction in Germany with the acquisition of the freehold interest in the 244-bedroom Hampton by Hilton Munich Airport South, for €14 million.  The seller was Hamburg-based developer Merlin Capital GmbH.  Long Harbour undertook the transaction on behalf of its €400 million European Ground Lease Fund (the Long Harbour Euro Secured Income 1 Fund, LHESIF 1).  Adamma Management GmbH has acquired the long-term leasehold interest, with the hotel supported by a 25-year operating lease with Tristar GmbH, who will continue to operate the property under the current branding.

Santander offloads debt of 13 Spanish Luxury hotels to Bybrook 

Banco Santander SA has sold loans valued at €136 million, which were granted on 13 of Spanish hotel company Grupo Hesperia’s properties, to London-based fund manager Bybrook Capital LLP.  The debt pertains to the following luxury properties in Spain: La Manga Club in Cartagena, Hesperia Murcia, Hesperia Lanzarote, Hesperia Córdoba, Hesperia Bristol in Fuerteventura, Hesperia Villamil in Mallorca, Hesperia Sevilla, Hesperia Zaragoza, and four properties in Barcelona - the Hesperia Sant Joan, Hesperia Barri Gòtic, Hesperia Sant Just and the Via Agusta premises. Grupo Hesperia currently has 32 properties, of which 28 are in Spain, with a total of 4,500 rooms, as well as four properties in Venezuela. Banco Santander’s divestment in their loan portfolio follows a large disposal of €600 million worth of nonperforming loans to Marathon Asset Management LP earlier this year.

Knight Frank IM acquires Premier Inn Beverley, UK from Wykeland  

London-based Knight Frank Investment Management has completed the acquisition of the Premier Inn Beverley Town Centre hotel from property developer Wykeland Group for €7.67 million (€96,000 per room). The 80-bedroom property was constructed as part of a £120 million, mixed-use regeneration scheme on a 16-acre site in Beverly, East Yorkshire, serving as a new retail and leisure destination. The three-storey, town-centre hotel opened in 2015 and is let to Premier Inn on a 25-year FRI lease ending in April 2041. The property was reportedly sold off of a 5.0% yield.

Odense acquires Stella Maris Hotel de Luxe in Svendborg, Denmark from Vejrø 

Danish investment firm Odense Sport & Events A/S has acquired the 36-bedroom luxury hotel Stella Maris Hotel de Luxe for 56 million DKK, the equivalent of €7.53 million (€209,000 per room) from Danish hotelier Vejrø Gruppen. The seafront property was last renovated in 2014 and was awarded hotel of the year in Denmark by Trivago in 2017. Stella Maris Hotel de Luxe is Odense’s second hotel investment after opening the 234-bedrom Hotel Odeon in the city of Odense (also in Denmark) in 2018. Odense, formed in 2006, is a privately held investment firm and pursues interests in sports, entertainment and hospitality.

Salboy acquires Best Western Hotel Bristol in Cornwall UK from Young family 

The Best Western Hotel Bristol in Newquay, Cornwall has been acquired by Salboy, a Manchester-based property developer, from the Young family for £5 million (£68,000 per room).  The 74-bedroom seafront property was built in the Victorian era, extended in 1934 and has been owned and managed over five generations by the Young family; it is changing ownership for the first time in its 94-year history. Salboy is based in the Northwest of England and will reportedly continue to operate the business as a hotel, as well as undertake further development on the adjoining land.


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