Hotel chain in £358m portfolio acquisition

Principal Hotels has acquired Hayley Conference Centres for £358m and plans to expand both brands in Europe. The Hayley Conference Centres portfolio is comprised of eight venues in the UK and a ninth property, which is under construction near Paris and due to open next year. The collection will retain its brand name, as will the Principal Hotels collection, comprised of eight properties in the UK and owned by Permira Funds. Principal Hotels chief executive Tony Troy said: “The combined group offers two distinct brands of hotels and conference centres in strategically important locations. The development of Chateau de Saint Just near Paris will also allow us a platform for growth into Europe.” A Permira Funds spokesman said there were “definite and ambitious plans to grow the Hayley Conference Centres and Principal Hotel brands. The Paris property is a starting point for further growth into the rest of Europe.” Principal Hotels targeted Hayley Conference Centres because of its distinctive stately home-style properties, located in regions where the chain wanted to expand. Permira partner Martin Clarke said: “The acquisition of Hayley Conference Centres demonstrates Permira’s support of the buy and build strategy for Principal Hotels in the UK and Europe and is part of an ongoing acquisition strategy designed to create one of the UK’s leading hotel groups.” The combined offering of Principal and Hayley is now 17 sites with 3,000 bedrooms and 400 meeting rooms, which, between them, can take over 20,000 delegates. Hayley Conference Centres include Alexandra House in Swindon and Beaumont House in Old Windsor. The Principal Hotel collection includes The Hotel Russell in London and The George Hotel in Edinburgh.

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