Patron Capital buys 24 UK hotels in £111m distressed RE deal

The London-based private equity real estate firm, has bought a package of hotels from the administrator to Jarvis Hotels Limited in a joint venture with the Global Restructuring Group of the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Patron Capital, the London-based private equity real estate firm, has bought a package of 24 hotels from the administrator to hotels group Jarvis Hotels.

The firm, led by Keith Breslauer, has bought the portfolio in a 50:50 joint venture with West Register, part of the Global Restructuring Group of semi-nationalised Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS).

The joint venture called, Jupiter Hotels Limited, put in £40 million (€46 million; $61 million) of equity with debt financing of £71 million provided by RBS, HSBC and Bank of Ireland, which were the original lenders to the collapsed group.

Andrew Gill, formerly of Intercontinental Hotels Group, has been drafted in as the interim chief executive of Jupiter Hotels to run the venture. With the exception of Jarvis’s board of directors, all of the existing employees of Jarvis’s head office and the 24 hotels will transfer to Jupiter.

The transaction will see the assets currently operating under the Ramada name, rebranded as Mercure, under a franchise agreement with Accor, the French hotel operator and the market leader in Europe which has been brought in to run the properties.

Stephen Green, Patron Capital’s senior partner, in charge of the firm’s special situations division, called the deal a “complicated restructuring transaction”. Josh Wyatt, director, Hospitality and Leisure at Patron Capital, added: “This is a perfect example of the type of transaction we are actively seeking in this sector.

Patron is in the midst of a fundraising push for a pan-European opportunistic real estate investment fund, Patron Capital IV. It is believed to be targeting more than $1 billion in capital commitments from investors, making it one of the largest European opportunistic fundraising exercises currently in the market. The fund is seen as a barometer for current investor appetite by some quarters of the private equity real estate industry.

As well as fundraising, Patron’s founder, Breslauer, has been busy climbing mountains for charity. Last month he took on El Capitan, the vertical granite rock face in the Yosemite National Park, California, on behalf of the Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund.