Scottish group Macdonald Hotels has announced plans to sell off at least 20 properties in a sale-and-manage-back package valued at more than £200m.
Following a number of "serious approaches" by investors, Macdonald has appointed consultancy firm Deloittes to advise on the deal. The portfolio has yet to be finalised, but it could include the Eastgate in Oxford, the Francis in Bath and the Bush in Farnham, Surrey.
Finance director Gordon Fraser stressed that any deal would not affect the hotels' day-to-day management.
"It is very important that the selected hotels remain as Macdonald hotels and that there will be no implications for customers and staff once the deal has been concluded," he said.
Robert Seabrook, executive vice-president at property agents Jones Lang LaSalle, said a successful deal would depend on which hotels were up for grabs.
"Macdonald has a broad range of hotels which probably won't appeal to the same investment buyers as other recent portfolios, such as Hilton, InterContinental and Marriott," he said. "This is a regional brand with some trophy properties which may be sold to high-net-worth regional buyers."
Proceeds from the £200m deal will be reinvested by the company in further five-star city centre projects, such as the new property in Manchester, due to open in March 2007.