Le Meridien last to go in compass hotel sale

Le Méridien is the only brand left in the Compass Group hotel portfolio after Posthouse and Heritage Hotels were sold last month for a combined sum of more than £1 billion. A buyer for the flagship chain is expected to be found shortly, allowing Compass to concentrate on its core catering operations. A spokeswoman for Le Méridien said: “I cannot confirm the names of the interested parties because at this stage it is confidential and price-sensitive information.” Marriott and Japanese bank Nomura are rumoured to be vying for Le Méridien, but whoever the eventual buyer turns out to be, officials hope there will be no negative impact on its C&I products and services. The collection of 124 upmarket hotels is expected to raise around £2 billion for the Compass Group. Posthouse has been sold to Bass, operator of the Inter-Continental and Holiday Inn brands, for £810 million cash. Bass expects to sell 15 of the Posthouse hotels and invest £75 million into rebranding the remainder as Holiday Inns. Meetings programmes will be extended across all the new properties and Bass believes the buy will be good for the C&I sector as it will be able to offer more meeting room capacity to its clients. Heritage Hotels, a range of 48 character properties, including the Compleat Angler at Marlow, has been bought for £235 million by a joint venture between Macdonald Hotels and the Bank of Scotland. Compleat Angler sales manager Joanne DaSilva said: “It all sounds positive and investment is ongoing. Although it is very early after the sale, it is business as usual.”

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