Edinburgh hotel changes hands in £18m deal

The Holiday Inn Express sits in one of the busiest locations in Edinburgh. Picture: Contributed
The Holiday Inn Express sits in one of the busiest locations in Edinburgh. Picture: Contributed
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One of Edinburgh’s biggest and busiest city centre hotels has changed hands for almost £18 million as buyers are sought for two further Scottish establishments.

The 161-bedroom Holiday Inn Express on the capital’s Picardy Place had been caught up in the collapse of Aberdeen-based European Development Company (EDC), which fell into administration in November. Founded in 2007, EDC owned the Edinburgh site as well as two Holiday Inns in the Granite city.

At the time of the collapse, administrators at FRP Advisory said that EDC had fallen victim to “severe cash flow problems” sparked by the downturn in the oil and gas sector, along with “intense” price competition from new entrants to Aberdeen’s hotel market.

Today it emerged that International Hotel Properties had acquired the Edinburgh Holiday Inn Express for £17.7m plus costs. It marks the ninth hotel purchase the firm has made since August 2015 and takes the number of bedrooms across its portfolio to 1,135.

International Hotel chief executive Jon Colley said: “This is a high quality asset in the most stable hotel market in the UK, outside of London, and is an excellent addition to [the group’s] growing portfolio.

“The hotel consistently trades at a very high occupancy and is a mature stable business having been open for over 12 years. The hotel also has the potential for the addition of more hotel rooms, which management are exploring.”

FRP Advisory partners Iain Fraser and Tom MacLennan were appointed joint administrators to EDC on 17 November and continued to trade all three hotels as normal while seeking buyers.

Fraser said today: “We are delighted to have secured the sale of the Edinburgh Holiday Inn Express to International Hotel Properties, and wish the company every success with the addition of this busy hotel to their portfolio. The deal secures the future of an important hotel in the Edinburgh hospitality market.

“We are continuing to operate the two hotels in Aberdeen (Holiday Inn in Westhill and Holiday Inn Express on Chapel Street), and will shortly be marketing these businesses for sale.

“Trade has been firm over the festive period and the administration of EDC represents a rare opportunity to acquire quality hotels in Aberdeen in busy locations.”

Kerr Young, Director, JLL's Hotels and Hospitality Group, which helped advise on the Edinburgh hotel deal, said: "This was an excellent opportunity to acquire an established hotel in a strong market. We are delighted to have worked with FRP Advisory on the sale of the business."

Edinburgh’s hotel market is consistently ranked as among the busiest outside London.

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