Travelodge snaps up UK hotels

Budget hotel chain Travelodge stepped up its expansion today with the addition of 52 hotels from pubs and restaurant group Mitchells & Butlers.

The swoop for the Innkeeper's Lodges will boost Travelodge's estate to 452 hotels and increase its room stock by 2,000 to more than 30,000.

The hotels, which include a number of Grade 2 listed buildings, range from 21 to 85 rooms and are adjacent to a Mitchells & Butlers restaurant and pub.

Travelodge will seek to retain all 430 staff from Mitchells and look to recruit a further 115 positions, including 25 manager roles and 90 hotel staff.

It has signed a 25-year lease on the properties and will embark on a £10m (11.94m) investment programme to convert the hotels to bring them in line with the Travelodge brand. The investment will include new reception areas.

They will be fully operational under the Travelodge brand within four months and rooms will be available from £19 (22.70) in line with Travelodge's pricing policy.

Executive chairman Grant Hearn said the acquisition represented the whole of Travelodge's growth of last year in one move.

He added: "We have an aggressive growth plan in place and with this acquisition we are on track to more than double the size of Travelodge hotels over the next ten years. We hope to explore further opportunities like this deal with other similar businesses."

Travelodge was launched in 1985 and employs more than 6,000 people. It has looked to expand in the recession as competition struggled and business travellers sought cheaper accommodation options.

Today's move will enable Mitchells to concentrate on its core brands, including All Bar One, O'Neills and Harvester.

Travelodge has entered into a 25-year agreement to operate and own the leases on the 52 lodges.

The property interest in the lodges has been sold to fund manager PRUPIM and another property company for £75m (€89.6m), Mitchells said.

The hotels are at Arundel, Castle Bromwich, Glasgow (2), Nottingham, Walton-on-Thames, Basildon, Chester, Helensburgh, Oldham, Warrington, Beaconsfield Chigwell, Keighley, Perth (2), York, Bedford, Coventry, Leeds, Plymouth (2), Birmingham (2), Derby, Leicester, Portsmouth (2), Borehamwood, Dudley, Liverpool (2), Slough, Bournemouth, Durham, Milton Keynes, Snaresbrook, Bromsgrove, Eastbourne, Newcastle (2), South Croydon, Camberley, Fleet, Northampton (2), Southgate, Cardiff (2), Gatwick, Northholt, Stoke on Trent.

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