Blackstone sells London hotel for £300m

The New York-based alternative asset manager has now moved a step closer to exiting its Mint Hotels portfolio, which it bought from Lloyd’s Banking Group in 2011. 

The Blackstone Group, the New York-based alternative asset manager, has sold the 582-room Doubletree by Hilton Tower of London hotel for a figure believed to be more than £300 million ($378 million; €358 million).

The deal for the landmark hotel values each room at more than £515,000 and represents one of the biggest single hotel transactions globally in 2016.

The buyer was the Bhatia family, headed by matriarch Gulshan Bhatia. The Doubletree is the third hotel acquired by the UK-based family following the acquisitions of the 298-room Hilton Waldorf and the 419-room Hilton Paddington, both in London. The prices for both hotels have not been disclosed.

It is understood that London & Regional, the property company owned by billionaire UK real estate magnates Richard and Ian Livingstone, and US real estate investment trust Host Hotels and Resorts also made bids for the hotel.

Blackstone declined to comment on the transaction.

However, Blackstone’s sale takes it another step closer to exiting its eight-asset Mint Hotels portfolio, which it bought from Lloyds Banking Group in 2011 for £600 million ($756m; €716m). The rest of the portfolio includes DoubleTree by Hilton Amsterdam; DoubleTree by Hilton Westminster; DoubleTree by Hilton Manchester; DoubleTree by Hilton Leeds; Hilton Garden Inn Bristol; Hilton Garden Inn Birmingham; and Hilton Garden Inn Glasgow. Mint Hotels was forced to sell its business after reportedly running up debts of around £417 million, largely due to the development of the Tower of London and Amsterdam hotels.

Blackstone has already sold five of the Mint hotels, in Glasgow, Bristol, Leeds, Birmingham and Manchester, to UK-based investment manager Marathon Asset Management for more than £160 million. Meanwhile, the remaining two hotels, the DoubleTree by Hilton Westminster and the DoubleTree by Hilton Amsterdam, are both up for sale for £172 million and €340 million, respectively.