Singapore-based MGM Mutha Hotels has made its first moves into the hotel market in Scotland with the acquisition of five properties.
The group, which has a strong foothold in the UK, acquired Ian Cleaver’s Highland Heritage Limited portfolio that includes Volvo coaches and four hotels all in Scotland, off an asking price of £4.5m.
Cleaver started Highland Heritage in the mid-70s and built it into a company with a turnover of £8m.
The sale, brokered by Colliers International, sees the 96-bed Royal Hotel, the 132-bed purpose-built Ben Doran Hotel, The Dalmally Hotel with 99 bedrooms and the 66-bed Alexandra Hotel in Oban acquired by MGM Mutha Hotels.
The Alexandra Hotel also comes with planning permission for 26 more bedrooms.
The deal comes shortly after The MGM Muthu Group bought the 63-bedroom Newton Hotel in Nairn, off an asking price of £4m.
Monicca Maran, corporate director of MGM Muthu Group and K.Ranjan, CEO of Highgate Asset Management Ltd, who assisted with the acquisitions, said: “Our premium service, excellent standards and charismatic hospitality entwined with the deep appreciation of the historical and cultural landscapes of the hotels will embellish our need to diversify our portfolio, to extend to the community and provide the best holiday experience to all travellers.”
Julian Troup, head of UK hotels Agency at Colliers International, commented: “We are seeing an emerging trend of increased demand for quality provincial hotel opportunities from a diverse buyer set, including international investors, who have been attracted by weaker sterling and improving trading prospects; private buyers attracted to the benefits of a lifestyle opportunity to corporate investors attracted to favourable returns and real estate alternatives. Since the beginning of 2016, over 15 per cent of U.K. hotel sales completed by Colliers were to international buyers.”
MGM Muthu Hotels currently has 27 hotels in its portfolio, with properties in Spain, Portugal, France, Cuba, Canary Islands, Madeira and the UK
The Highland Heritage sale did not include Kilchurn Castle, which is owned by Cleaver and had been offered for sale alongside his hospitality business.
It is currently managed by Historic Scotland.