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Market Turmoil Forces Mwb To Postpone Sale Of Hotel Chains For The Second Time

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Marylebone Warwick Balfour (MWB) became the latest victim of the market turmoil yesterday as the hotel and property company was forced to call a halt to the £700 million auction of its Hotel du Vin and Malmaison hotel chains.

This is the second time a sale has been pulled. Earlier this year MWB tried to sell the underlying property assets of the two chains to Vector Hospitality, the real estate investment trust. The deal fell through in June when lack of investor appetite resulted in Vector’s proposed £2 billion flotation being dropped.

Richard Balfour-Lynn, MWB’s chief executive, claimed there were still four strong bidders when the sale was put on ice. He said the bidders were adamant they could fund a deal but the market uncertainty had made it difficult for them to secure credit committee approval.

Asked when the process might be resurrected, Mr Balfour-Lynn replied: “It all depends on what happens in the world.” He said that, despite investor pressure, he was relaxed about the postponement as the business was performing strongly and expanding rapidly.

3rd time lucky ?

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