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VIANEN, NETHERLANDS-Fletcher Hotels, operator of 23 three-star and four-star hotels in the Netherlands, has put the portfolio on the market. The asking price of the group has not been disclosed. HVS Hodges Ward Elliott, the London-based hotel consulting firm, will be the exclusive advisor for the sale-leaseback transaction.

The Fletcher portfolio includes 879 rooms. They are located throughout the Netherlands, stretching from the Wadden Islands in the north to Valkenburg in the south.

“It is a valuable portfolio because they are attractive and charming small hotels in prime neighborhoods throughout the Netherlands, operated by a highly centralized and technologically savvy management company,” Rudy Reudelhuber, HVS Hodges Ward Elliott managing director, tells GlobeSt.com. In a prepared statement, he also says, “Fletcher has developed an efficient, high-tech operating platform that could be rolled across Europe and generates excellent cash flow per room. Many of the hotels are irreplaceable assets due to their location in prime, established neighborhoods in their respective markets, which means high barriers to new competition. This portfolio is an excellent opportunity for an investor to acquire a significant Dutch real estate portfolio at an attractive yield with a tenant that has healthy rent coverage.”

Sale-leaseback transactions are growing in popularity in both Europe and the US, according to Dale Anne Reiss, global head of real estate for Ernst & Young. “Everybody is looking for transactions that allow them to maximize retention of ownership and tax and accounting benefits,” she tells GlobeSt.com. “It’s a form of alternative financing, and normally companies get a chance to repurchase assets at some point in the future.

The Netherlands’ economy is strong and is expected to remain that way. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, “the tightening of liquidity conditions as a result of global financial market turmoil has had little effect on business confidence, and investment is likely to continue to grow robustly.”

In addition to the positive forecast, Reudelhuber notes that there have been positive operating figures for the hotel industry there. “This transaction offers excellent opportunities for both the buyer and seller,” he says.

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