Crerar Hotel Group has sold its hotel asset in Moray, Scotland to Thailand-based Lake Merritt Group as it continues to ‘right size’ its portfolio and reinvest in the development of its existing seven properties.
The deal, brokered by Colliers International, saw Eight Acres Hotel acquired by Thailand-based Lake Merritt Group, off a guide price of £3.5m for the freehold.
The 52-bedroom hotel features a large bar, Darroch restaurant and an extensive range of meeting and conference rooms, as well as a leisure complex with spa bath and gym.
Paddy Crerar, chief executive of Crerar Hotel Group said the sale was a ‘key milestone’ in right-sizing the group’s strategy and the deal from Lake Merritt Group was ‘too generous to ignore’.
He says: “We are very pleased with this sale, which is another key milestone in our right-sizing strategy and takes us even closer to achieving our aim of being Scotland’s highest quality family of hotels and inns.
“The Eight Acres has been an excellent asset for us. However, the agreed deal was simply too generous for us to ignore, particularly as the good chemistry with such experienced buyers made it a painless journey. It once again confirms that the appetite for quality Scottish assets continues to grow, which is a clear backing for the already rock-solid Scottish tourism sector.”
The sale also allows the Group to carry out a £3m refurbishment in the 85-bedroom Isle of Mull hotel.
The deal completed by Lake Merritt Group follows the group’s purchase last year of Windermere Hydro Hotel, which added to its existing Scottish hotels ownership of Braid Hills Hotel, Edinburgh.
The acquisition is the Group’s fourth in the UK as it ‘aggressively and diligently’ expands its hotel portfolio in this country.
Julian Troup, head of UK hotels agency at Colliers International, commented: “The sale is indicative of a wider trend of increased demand for quality provincial hotel opportunities from a diverse range of potential buyers, ranging from international investors attracted by weaker sterling and improving trading prospects, private buyers seeking the benefits of a lifestyle opportunity and corporate investors focused on favourable returns and real estate alternatives.”
Crerar Hotels now has a reduced portfolio of seven key hotels within their portfolio and has invested reinvested more than £10m back into the estate as a result of the recent sales led by Colliers International.