In a new development, Lloyds Banking Group is now looking to sell the De Vere Group and is preparing to hire JP Morgan to advise on options for selling off its hotels, worth an estimated £600m, according to the Sunday Times yesterday.
Meanwhile, De Vere Venues, the conference venues arm of the De Vere Group, is understood to be close to finalising a £230m sale this month – £70m less than the asking price. This comes nine months after De Vere Venues was put on the market for £300m.
The Starwood Capital Group, which acquired the Principal Hayley Group earlier this year, is understood to be the frontrunner in negotiations for the conferences division.
Last month The Grand hotel in Brighton, which was bombed by the IRA during the 1984 Conservative Party conference, was put up for sale for an estimated £50m in an attempt to reduce the group's debts.