Hilton Hotels confirms sale of London Metropole and Birmingham Metropole properties

Hotel chain Hilton Hotels has confirmed it is selling two of its Metropole hotels. Family-owned firm Tonstate has bought both the 1,054-room London Metropole and 794-room Birmingham Metropole (pictured right) for £417m ($779m). The transaction is expected to complete before the end of the year.

In line with Hilton”s strategy, the hotel brand is retaining the management contracts for both locations with Tonstate agreeing to dedicate resources necessary to continue renovation programmes at both hotels.

New owners The Tonstate Group were unavailable for comment.

Hilton International CEO Ian Carter told ABTN: “This sale forms part of Hilton’s long-term strategy to grow the managed and franchised business and reduce hotel ownership. This will allow us to provide a return to shareholders by releasing capital tied up in properties across the estate. The strategy also enables us to support our ambitious expansion plans as we double the number of hotels within Europe over the next four years and introduce a number of new Hilton brands, such as Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Inn and Doubletree, into international markets for the first time.”

Hilton Hotels executive vice president and CEO Robert La Forgia commented: “…with the expected completion of the sale of the two Metropole properties, our asset sale program will have delivered more than $2 billion in proceeds since early 2005.

”The hotel transaction market continues to be vibrant, with a high level of market interest and enthusiasm being shown for quality hotel assets. Consistent with our strategy to grow the managed and franchised business and reduce hotel ownership, we intend to place further hotels on the market; for example, we have recently listed 11 properties across Europe and also announced that we are evaluating alternatives for the Scandic brand”

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