Contenders for the Forte Hotel Group Likely to Plan Creative Bids

December 8, 2000 — HVS International — Following last week's closure for indicative bids for the whole or parts of the Granada Compass hotel estate, speculation over possible bids has once again been widespread.

In the absence of any definite news and in anticipation of the forthcoming shortlist, rumours have emerged concerning a possible joint bid by two of the interested parties; Bass and Millennium & Copthorne (M&C), who have been linked together as possible contenders.

Bass would be in a strong position to convert some of the prized hotels into their five-star Inter-Continental brand, while M&C could comfortably integrate the Le Meridien brand into its reputable portfolio.

The Spanish hotel company Sol Meliá, meanwhile, has denied reports by a Sunday newspaper that it is
leading the chase with an offer of £2.65 billion for the Le Meridien and Posthouse chains. Instead, Sol Meliá states that the absorption of Tryp Hotels is its primary focus, following its Euro 360 million acquisition. Furthermore, in the medium-term Sol Meliá may be comtemplating consolidation with a large international hotel group.

Competition remains strong nevertheless for the Granada Compass hotel portfolio, with bidders expected to include the private equity players Strategic Hotel Capital; Nomura; Blackstone and Doughty Hanson, as well as Hilton; Marriott and Starwood.

No deal is expected to complete before March 2001.

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HVS in 2000: Celebrating 20 Years of Valued Hospitality Consulting Service

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