QMH receives approach

22 June 2004
QMH receives approach

The race to buy troubled hotel group Queens Moat Houses has taken another twist, with the company announcing it has received an approach from finance group Whitehall Funds.

In a terse statement to the London Stock Exchange, the chain said it had received the approach from the property financier, owned by Goldman Sachs, "which may or may not lead to an offer" being made for the company.

But it added it was continuing to pursue a number of options as part of its strategic review and "a further announcement will be made when appropriate".

Debt-laden QMH was put up for sale in January, two months after the group appointed investment bank Morgan Stanley to conduct a review of the business.

Possible buyers in the frame have included Maurice Gourgey's Pedersen Group and a consortium of US investor Colony Capital and Accor.

Speculation that Goldman Sachs was about to enter the fray grew last month when it merged that the investment bank and US hotel company Westmont Hospitality Group had bought a 19% stake in QMH, taking its holding to 29.6%.

QMH's £640m debt dates back to its near-collapse more than 10 years ago, which resulted in a massive write-down of its assets and the ousting of its board.

Since then the chain has been selling off hotels in a bid to reduce its debt mountain, but was pushed further into the red following the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease, the 11 September terror attacks and the general economic slow-down.

by Nic Paton

Buy this week's Caterer magazine for more industry news and analysis

The Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email

Start the working day with The Caterer’s free breakfast briefing email

Sign Up and manage your preferences below

Check mark icon
Thank you

You have successfully signed up for the Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email and will hear from us soon!

Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.


Ad Blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an adblocker and – although we support freedom of choice – we would like to ask you to enable ads on our site. They are an important revenue source which supports free access of our website's content, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.

trade tracker pixel tracking