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Whitbread PLC sells A Part of Its Hotels in the UK

News Whitbread, which is also known as the largest owner of restaurants and hotels in the UK, has announced sale of 7 properties across the country. The company has concluded the agreement concerning sale and leaseback with LaSalle Investment Management.

The agreement is to be completed by September 2011. The total sum of the deal estimates £53.8 million. Both companies have also concluded a leasing agreement, so Whitbread will remain the managing organizations for these properties for at least 25 years. The initial yield for the new owner may estimate around 5.5%.

This deal may be considered profitable for Whitbread as the company sells these hotels over their book values. In 2007 the values of these objects estimated just £28.1 million.

As Christopher Rogers, the finance director of Whitbread, mentions, this step is a part of the company’s strategy. Whitbread wants to diversify own funds sources and leaseback is just another method of getting finances needed for future growth. Current plans of the hotelier were announced this April – to double the portfolio of Costa branded properties and to increase the number of Premiere Inn properties by 50% minimum, so the total number of rooms will reach at least 65,000.

Whitbread is currently the leading UK hotel group that mostly operates in budget hotel segment. Other spheres of interest of the company include coffee shops and restaurants. The company owns so well-known brands as Premier Inn, Table Table, Beefeater, Taybarns, Brewers Fayre, and Costa. The staff of the company exceeds 40,000 people and over 2000 properties in all parts of the UK serve over 10 million of customers every month.

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