Edinburgh hotel next to Holyrood Palace sold as part of major industry deal

Macdonald Hotels & Resorts has sold two of its properties, including one in Edinburgh, to a private equity firm in one of the largest hotel deals completed outside of London in 2021.

The agreement sees funds controlled by London-based Zetland Capital Partners acquire the 338-bedroom Macdonald Manchester Hotel and the 156-bedroom Macdonald Holyrood Hotel in Edinburgh from the Scottish group.

The acquisition deal, for an undisclosed sum, will see the hotels managed by Zetland’s joint venture partner, Hamilton Hotel Partners.

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Ahmed Hamdani, managing partner at Zetland Capital Partners, said: “Our strategy is to provide significant investment to refurbish and reposition these hotels.

The agreement sees the sale of the vast 338-bedroom Macdonald Manchester Hotel and the smaller 156-bedroom Macdonald Holyrood Hotel in Edinburgh, above.
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“This acquisition aligns with our investment strategy to purchase and invest in well-located hotels across the UK, where we can materially enhance the product offering and benefit from the recovery of demand in the UK’s key cities.”

Aaron Falls, chief financial officer, Macdonald Hotels & Resorts, said: “The successful sale of these well-known hotels is a major milestone in our strategic business plan, which will see a substantial reinvestment in upgrading the remainder of our 28-strong hotel portfolio and nine resorts, together with further debt reduction.”

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Macdonald Hotels was advised by Savills, CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang and Alvarez & Marsal.

Rob Stapleton, head of hotel transactions at Savills, said: “We’re pleased to have advised on this significant transaction in two key UK markets. In spite of the uncertainty caused by Covid, the opportunity generated significant interest from the market.

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“It was a pleasure working alongside the management team at Macdonald Hotels & Resorts and with Zetland to conclude this deal.”

Zetland Capital Partners was advised by Burgess Salmon, KPMG, EY, Christie & Co, Lockton, Chandler, Nova Ambiente, Westfort Advisors and Arendt.

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Frank Croston, partner at Hamilton Hotel Partners, added: “We are delighted to be expanding our partnership with Zetland through the acquisition of these two hotels in two of the UK’s strongest markets. We are looking forward to working with Zetland and the hotel teams to invest into and reposition these hotels.”

Starwood European Finance Partners financed the acquisition and was advised by White & Case.

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Hamilton Hotel Partners currently oversees a portfolio of around 70 hotels located throughout Europe.

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