Source: Planet Retail, Sept 28, 2007
Whitbread has announced that it has purchased six hotels, which contain 770 rooms, and secured a pipeline of nine further sites, which will provide 1,300 rooms, for GBP44 million (USD87.3 million). Whitbread has purchased the hotels, which trade under the Tulip Inn and Golden Tulip brands, and will spend GBP9 million (USD17.9 million) on converting the hotels to the Premier Inn brand. Commenting on the deal, Whitbread’s chief executive, Mr Alan Parker, said: “'I am pleased that we are able to buy these modern and well-located hotels for Premier Inn, the UK's largest and fastest growing hotel business. Once rebranded and integrated into our Premier Inn portfolio, our focus will be on occupancy and securing further sites in the pipeline over and above these 15 hotels. There is clearly significant growth potential through conversions such as this and, coupled with our aggressive organic pipeline, we are well on track to reach our target of 45,000 rooms in the UK by 2010.” Meanwhile, following on from the sale of its master franchisee in the UK Golden Tulip has revealed that it is going to utilise a new strategy in the country moving forward. The new initiative will see Golden Tulip directly purchase hotel assets in the UK and the company has earmarked an initial investment of GBP50 million (USD99.2 million) to fund acquisitions. The company has said that it wants to purchase a mixture of new sites and existing properties for conversion and over the course of five years wants to build 30 hotels: 20 Tulip Inns and 10 Golden Tulips.