US bidders join auction for De Vere hotels

Three of the largest hotel investors in the United States are believed to be on a list of second round bidders for De Vere Group’s Village Urban Resorts chain.

Blackstone Group, Starwood Capital and KSL Capital Partners are understood to be on a 12-long shortlist, which also includes Queensgate Investments of London.

The highest offer is around the £470m mark, according to City sources.

Sources close to the process are also speculating that Robert Cook, the former CEO of Village Urban Resorts, who (along with three other executives) was moved out by Andrew Coppell, the Group Chief Executive in April as part of the sale preparation, has been touring private equity groups seeking to secure backing for management buy in.

Cook is likely to have his work cut out as he was part of the inner circle at the Alternative Hotel Group that is widely considered to have overgeared the original De Vere Hotels deal.

The sale of Village will crystallise further losses for Lloyds who have already written off hundreds of millions of pounds with the sale of De Vere Venues to Starwood Capital (for £232m in March) and six of the golf course hotels to Bain Capital which are likely to be integrated into Q Hotels.

CN exclusively revealed in July that the CEO of De Vere Venues Tony Dangerfield had stepped down.
 
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Paul Colston

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Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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