Compass reaps £1bn in hotel chains sell-off
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Compass reaps £1bn in hotel chains sell-off

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Withington Baths
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Compass Group will potentially raise more than £3bn from its hotel auction after disposing of its Posthouse and Heritage hotels for £1.05bn. It has so far raised £1.36bn including the sale of its four London Signature hotels and intends concentrating on its catering operations. Posthouse, consisting of 79 hotels, was sold to Bass for £810m, in cash. The acquisition by Bass is in line with its objective of building its mid-scale brand distribution in Western Europe; in particular the development of the Holiday Inn brand with an injection of £75m over the next three years. Compass sold Heritage to a newly-formed company, jointly owned by Macdonald Hotels and the Bank of Scotland for £235m, again in cash. Of the total figure, £200m will be paid on completion with a further £35m to be paid eighteen months thereafter. The Heritage chain has 48 hotels across England and Scotland. The deal will triple the size of the MacDonald business. Michael J. Bailey, chief executive of Compass says he is delighted the sale of two major UK hotel brands has gone ahead: 'The auction process is allowing us to maximise the proceeds from the disposal of the Forte Hotels division which will provide significant resources for the future growth and development of Compass Group as a focused foodservie business.' A further announcement as to the sale process for the Le Meridien chain is expected by the end of April.

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Compass Group will potentially raise more than £3bn from its hotel auction after disposing of its Posthouse and Heritage hotels for £1.05bn. It has so far raised £1.36bn including the sale of its four London Signature hotels and intends concentrating on its catering operations.
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JP Lennard
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