Brighton Grand puts welcome mat out for Chinese investors

A Chinese management company has bought into the operating company of The Grand hotel in Brighton, following a deal worth an estimated £400m.

Chinese travel group HK CTS Metropark Hotels Co has bought Kew Green Hotels, which has the management contract at The Grand Hotel in Brighton.

Kew Green owns 44 UK hotels with 5,179 rooms and manages a further 10 UK hotels for other owners. It also runs the contract for Richmond Hill Hotel in southwest London. Both The Grand and Richmond Hill are owned by Wittington Investments, which is controlled by the billionaire Weston family. Wittington bought The Grand last year from the De Vere Group for about £50m.

The new management company is expected to promote The Grand to its growing Chinese market while using the portfolio as a platform for fresh acquisitions.

Andrew Mosley, general manager at The Grand, said the deal would not affect the day-to-day running of the hotel.

He said: “Absolutely nothing changes. It’s business as usual.”

Jeremy Xu Muhan, chairman of HK CTS Metropark Hotels, said: “The purchase of Kew Green Hotels is a tremendous acquisition that provides us with a strategic growth platform within the UK and across Europe. Investing overseas will enable us to bridge Chinese tourism with the rest of the world. The acquisition of the first rate Kew Green Hotels business is the first step and it gives us this ability and provides a platform to grow from.”

Paul Johnson, chief executive officer of Kew Green said: “We are delighted that HK CTS Metropark Hotels has chosen to invest in Kew Green. Their support will allow us to continue our aggressive growth strategy as well as giving us access into the rapidly growing Chinese tourist market.”

Jamie Lamb, chief financial officer of Kew Green said: “We have greatly enjoyed working together with our current investors Goldman Sachs and TPG Special Situations Partners to create a market leading hotel company. We now look forward to a successful partnership and further expansion with HK CTS Metropark Hotels throughout the UK and Europe. This is an exciting opportunity for company and the management team at Kew Green Hotels.”

John Keenan

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John Keenan

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