Whitbread's Courtyard by Marriott hotel chain could be about to be taken over in an £80m deal.
According to City sources, privately owned Kew Green Hotels is in advanced negotiations with Whitbread to buy the 11-strong, three-star chain.
Whitbread put the chain up for sale in May as part of a review of its estimated £1.1b of assets wrapped up in the Marriott brand.
Kew Green was set up in 2001 by former Welcome Break executives Paul Johnson and Jeremy Richardson.
It currently runs four hotels under Days Hotel and Express by Holiday Inn franchises, with two more in the pipeline.
Whitbread is being advised by CBRE Hotels and Morgan Stanley in its plans to sell at least £200m of its Marriott assets.
In a separate development, Whitbread finance director David Richardson has said he will retire at the end of April next year.
Whitbread has also appointed a former executive with supermarket chain Sainsbury's as its new group development director. Desmond Taljaard will overseas its acquisitions and disposals strategy.
by Nic Paton
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