International property investor and fund manager aAIM has made its largest acquisition to date with the purchase of six upper four star hotels in landmark buildings situated in prime locations in key UK cities.
The transaction is part of a 25-year sale and leaseback with Principal Hotels which is owned by funds advised by Permira, the international private equity firm. The assets comprise the George in Edinburgh, the Royal York in York, Selsdon Park, Surrey, the Met in Leeds, the Palace in Manchester and the Russell in London. The portfolio of 1,310 rooms has recently had approx. €70 million (£50 million) spent on it and aAIM is committing to a further €28 million (£20 million) of improvements and additional facilities.
The transaction was initiated and arranged on behalf of aAIMâs Â£2billion joint venture with Bank of Scotland, Symmetry Fund, by James Elton, COO of aAIM and former Development Director of Le Meridien Hotels and Resorts and Mark Tagliaferri, aAIM Chairman and former Deputy Chairman of Le Meridien Hotels and Resorts and Senior Managing Director of Nomura Principal Finance Group and Terra Firma.
Principal Hotel the Russell in London.
James Elton and Mark Tagliaferri commented: "We are excited to be working with Tony Troy who is an excellent CEO and hotelier and Permira as the overall sponsor. This will be a good deal for all with further improvements to the real estate. We are also looking forward to funding additional investments for this team. "
Martin Clarke, Partner at Permira, added: "We are delighted to welcome aAIM and Bank of Scotland as key funding partners in this transaction. Their detailed knowledge and understanding of the hotel sector was a significant factor in the timely completion of the sale and leaseback and we look forward to working with them to develop the Principal Hotels portfolio."
Tony Troy, CEO of Principal Hotels, commented: "We are delighted to be working with aAIM, particularly in light of their experience in the sector. We look forward to working together to enhance the performance of our current portfolio of unique properties, through the £20 million planned programme of additional improvements and facilities."
Senior debt for the transaction was provided by Bank of Scotland Corporate.