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LONDON-Marylebone Warwick Balfour has bought out specialist hotel group Malmaison for £13 million ($20 million). The property developer has effectively acquired the remaining 50% stake and the management contract in Malmaison. MWB will take responsibility for operational management of the hotels during the next six months.

MWB now has complete ownership of the UK-based hotels business, including the operational management, and has enhanced the value of the group’s Malmaison holding.

In November 2000 the company acquired all the Malmaison Hotel properties and, in a joint venture with Rezidor, 50% of the Malmaison brand owning company. At the time Malmaison operated five hotels with a total of 460 rooms. Since then, MWB’s development programme has increased the number of rooms to 556 and this will rise to 850 by the end of 2003. The near doubling of Malmaison rooms has been achieved through the expansion of the two existing hotels in Edinburgh and Manchester and development of new hotels in Birmingham and Charterhouse Square, in the City of London.

Further expansion is anticipated through development of another three UK hotels, planned for Oxford, Liverpool and Brighton, which would take total rooms to 1,200.

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