Rumours swirl around the sale of Morgans Hotel Group

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Rumours surrounding the potential sale of Morgans Hotel Group are reported to have stepped up a gear, after Ian Schrager’s original boutique brand appears to be readying itself for new ownership.

Morgans Hotel Group, which operates The Mondrian and Hudson boutique chains, has had a rollercoaster two years, with shareholder proxy battles, leadership turnovers and lackluster performances.

Morgans, which hired Morgan Stanley last May to explore a sale of the company, is still in the midst of a "strategic review process," said interim CEO Jason Kalisman during the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call with analysts earlier this month.

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"We feel that the process has moved along significantly, and we are committed to sharing news when we have something to announce," Kalisman said.

Founded when Ian Schrager opened the first Morgans hotel in New York in 1984, Morgans expanded with the opening of New York’s Royalton in 1988 and subsequent openings of hotels in Miami, West Hollywood, San Francisco, London and Boston.

After Schrager sold his stake in the company in 2005, however, it racked up more than $400 million (approx £270m) in net losses between 2006 and 2012, causing it to sell its stakes in properties such as the Mondrian Los Angeles and its two London properties, Sanderson and St. Martins Lane.

Earlier this month, Morgans said it turned an operating profit for 2014, though its net loss still widened on higher interest payments.

The company last year also opened the Mondrian London, the Delano Las Vegas and Istanbul’s 10 Karokoy while refinancing the debt on New York’s Hudson and Miami’s Delano South Beach properties.

Watch this space for more news of the sale of the original boutique hotel group.

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