Permira moves into four-star hotels

Europe’s biggest buyout firm has landed its third deal of the year buying Principal Hotels from Royal Bank of Scotland just two months after missing out on De Vere, a rival chain.

Permira, an international private equity firm, is buying Principal Hotels, a small chain of four-star hotels from Royal Bank of Scotland.

The George: Permira’s new digs in Edinburgh

There are six hotels, including The Russell in London and and The George in Edinburgh, which, according to the buyout firm, compete in the upper mid-market segment of the UK hotel market with an established presence in the residential conference market.

Martin Clarke, partner at Permira, said: “This acquisition will act as a platform for consolidation in what is still a very fragmented market in the UK.”

Permira had hoped to combine Principal Hotels, headed by Tony Troy with De Vere, a rival UK hotel and leisure chain, but it lost out after a bid battle with Alternative Hotel Group in July.

The firm has suffered a run of bad luck missing out on a number of high-profile auctions, most recently losing McCarthy & Stone to a consortium including Tom Hunter’s West Coast Capital.

Permira’s commitment to the consumer sector, includes leisure assets such as Gala Coral Group and other consumer businesses such as The AA, Cortefiel and DinoSol.