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LONDON-Jarvis Hotels has negotiated at sale and leaseback of nine of its hotel properties totalling 1,341 rooms to a consortium of private investors advised by Lioncourt Capital of Dublin. The £150 million ($233 million)deal will allow the company to reduce debt and return £85 million ($130 million) to shareholders.

Each of the nine will be sold to a separate company, and leased back for a period of just under 35 years. The hotels involved are the Ramada Jarvis London West; the Ramada Jarvis Hyde Park; the Ramada Jarvis Farnham/ Guildford; the Ramada Plaza Gatwick; the Ramada Jarvis Guildford/ Leatherhead; the Ramada Jarvis Hatfield; the Ramada Jarvis Hemel Hempstead; the Ramada Jarvis Solihull/ Birmingham and the Ramada Hotel and Resort Birmingham. The annual operating lease cost will be £10.6 million ($16.5 million) escalating at 2% per annum. Rent is based on 31% of turnover with a minimum of £9.9 million ($13.3 million) and a maximum of £10.75 million ($16.7 million).

Anglo Irish Bank provided the debt finance for the transaction. Insignia Hotels acted as advisers to Anglo Irish Bank. Derek Gammage, Managing Director of Insignia Hotels said: “Sale and leaseback deals have enabled operators to drive forward their businesses. Jarvis are able to assess the operating risks and to agree a rental level with which they are comfortable. Jarvis reduces its debt, returns significant capital to shareholders and leaves itself with net cash. This seems to us to be deal with no down-side.”

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