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London-based Z Hotels offers test of recovery with £440m sale

Written by on 29/09/2021

Z Hotels, one of the largest hotel operators in central London, will provide a test of the industry’s post-Covid recovery prospects after instructing agents to sell the business for close to £450m.

Sky News has learnt that Z Hotels, which opened its newest site on The Strand earlier this month, has hired the real estate advisers Knight Frank and Avison Young to run an auction of the decade-old group.

The company operates 11 sites in the capital, including prime locations in Covent Garden, Piccadilly Circus, Shoreditch, Soho and Victoria.

It also trades from hotels in Bath, Glasgow and Liverpool.

The timing of the sale means it will inevitably be seen as offering a glimpse into investors’ attitudes toward the sector amid booming demand for staycations but continuing uncertainty about the recovery of the central London economy.

The process is said to be opportunistic – rather than distressed – following a number of unsolicited approaches for the business.

Z Hotels’ founders include Bev King, who launched the business alongside a number of former Thistle Hotels executives.

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The founders are said to own roughly 80% of the shares.

In a report published on Wednesday, the credit ratings agency FitchRatings said that Europe’s large leisure hotel groups were now better-placed for recovery, although revenue-per-available room – a key metric in the sector – was unlikely to return to pre-pandemic levels until 2025.

A spokeswoman for Z Hotels declined to comment.

 Sky News

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