A FAMILY of Asian hoteliers has sold four of their luxury hotels in central London for £1 billion last week.
In one of the UK’s largest hotel deals, the Matharu brothers sold their properties – located at St Paul’s, Grange Tower Bridge, Grange City, and Grange Holborn – to Queensgate Investments.
The property portfolio includes 1,345 central London rooms, around 930,000 square feet of real estate, which was acquired and significantly developed by Grange Hotels over the past two decades.
Grange Hotels was founded by Raj Matharu, 61, Harpal Matharu, 62, and Tony Matharu 58.
Following the transaction, Grange Hotels will own and operate 13 hotels, primarily in central London.
Much of the Matharus’ portfolio is in and around central London and at major tourist hubs. The family also has hotels in the Bloomsbury area of the capital.
Commenting on the latest transaction, Grange Hotels Group said: “We are delighted with the outcome of the transaction. We acquired, developed and constructed the portfolio over a period of 20 years. The four hotels give the purchaser immediate scale in excellent locations, in one of the most highly sought-after and dynamic markets in the world.”
Since it was founded in the early 1980s, the Grange group has grown to include 17 four and five-star hotels with facilities such as state-of-the-art conference centres, events spaces, spas, fitness clubs and fully equipped gymnasiums.
The Matharus’ empire began its journey with a property in west London. The brothers were able to borrow money and acquire a “small unloved” hotel in South Kensington, which had been very much under-trading because the owners had put most of their resources into other properties.
After that first success, the business began identifying new sites, building on them, and developing, operating and managing them.
Tony Matharu told Eastern Eye’s Asian Rich List: “The barriers to entry in this sector are such that it is impossible without funding, but because the business was successful, it could borrow in a measured and considered way and that has continued to date.”
“Right from the start, I was able to identify sites suitable for business travellers as distinct from leisure travellers. There was a gap in the market for that and the company identified and filled it,” he said, outlining the strategy that pushed the company’s expansion.
Revenues at Global Grange Hotels climbed slightly to £133.2 million for the year ending March 2018, with operating profits falling to £34.3m.
Meanwhile, Fattal Group will implement a refurbishment plan for its new properties and pursue a new growth strategy, increasing its London portfolio to a total of seven hotels and 2,000 rooms.
Queensgate has an agreement with Fattal Hotel Group, a £1.71bn hospitality company with 200 hotels across 18 countries, to run the assets.
David Fattal, chief executive of Fattal Hotel Group said: “The four hotels will undergo an extensive renovation plan and will be flagged by our Leonardo Royal and NYX brands. “