RBS and Patron Capital sell 32 UK hotels to owner of Thailand’s Singha Beer

Kasmira Jefford
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The Mercure Brighton SeaFront hotel was among the hotels sold

The Royal Bank of Scotland and private equity group Patron Capital have sold a portfolio of 32 UK hotels for £160m to Thai joint venture including Thailand's biggest beer-maker.

The business, known as Jupiter Hotels, owns and manages 26 hotels spread out across the UK and operating under French hotelier Accor’s Mercure franchise.

The pair originally bought the portfolio from the administrators in September 2011 for around £110m after its previous owners Jarvis Hotels defaulted on their loans. Most of the properties are owned freehold.

Jupiter also manages a further five hotels, branded Dragonfly Hotels, and one independent hotel, called the Talbot, in Ripley which is said to have provided the stage for Lord Nelson and Lady Hamilton’s scandalous love affair in 1798.

The business has been sold to a joint venture between Singha Estate, the property arm of Thailand’s Boon Rawd Brewery Company and a subsidiary of FICO Group, another Thai company.

Boon Rawd Brewery, which makes Singha Beer, is Thailand’s oldest brewery dating back to 1933 and is owned by the Bhirombhakdi family.

In May, the company's chief executive Naris Cheyklin told Bloomberg it planned to spend around £2bn on hotels and property projects over the next five years to offset higher taxes and curbs on alcohol consumption.

Patron Capital’s investment director of hospitality and leisure Camil Yazbeck, said: “We bought this portfolio of 26 hotels with RBS in 2011 and have worked closely with a new management team to rebrand, refurbish and invest in the hotels and staff.”

“The resulting improvements in trading and customer satisfaction have enabled us to achieve a successful exit and an excellent return for the investors. We would like to thank all the team at Jupiter Hotels for their hard work and wish them every success under the new owners,” Yazbeck said.

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