Claridge’s sell-off goes ahead despite rumours of bid for Savoy Group
The sale of London’s Claridge’s hotel is continuing despite rumours of a sale of the whole Savoy Group. The auction of the hotel, which is expected to fetch about £300m, ended on Friday, and owners US private equity firms Blackstone and Colony Capital and agents Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels are now understood to be considering the offers that have been tabled for the hotel.
A decision on the new owner is not expected to be announced for some time, however. Late last week rumours started circulating that Canadian hotel company Four Seasons was preparing to make an indicative bid for the whole group, which includes the Savoy, the Berkeley and the Connaught hotels and the Simpson’s-in-the-Strand restaurant.
Backing for the purchase is understood to be coming from Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who owns a 25% stake in Four Seasons. A spokeswoman for Four Season would not comment on the rumours but said: ‘We are always looking for new sites, but nothing yet has been confirmed.’ US hotel group Starwood is also understood to be eyeing the properties.
A spokesman for Blackstone said: ‘The reality is that we have just put Claridge’s on the market. Bids were due in on Friday. That’s it. If someone decides to bid for the whole group, that is up to them. We are only anticipating bids on Claridge’s.’