Hotel and conference group Principal Hayley has added two new properties to its portfolio - conference venue the New Connaught Rooms in London and Glasgow Central Hotel - as part of plans to expand the brand in key cities in Europe.
The company plans to invest £40m in upgrading the two former Real Hotel Group properties, bought from administrators BDO Stoy Hayward, including a £7m refurbishment of the conference, training and banqueting facilities at the New Connaught Rooms and a total overhaul of the public areas and the building of an extra 30 bedrooms at the Glasgow hotel.
The Glasgow Central Hotel, originally designed by Robert Rowand Andersen, will be closed while work is carried out and will re-open in February 2010 as the Grand Central Hotel.
Work on the New Connaught Rooms will be carried out over the next two months and will re-open in September as the Grand Connaught Rooms. Principal Hayley plans to use the conference, exhibition and banqueting venue as partner to its London hotel, The Russell Hotel.
Principal Hayley chief executive Tony Troy said: "We are very excited about the addition of the Grand Connaught Rooms and the Grand Central Hotel to our portfolio. Strategically they are an excellent fit to the collection. The Grand Connaught Rooms will work hand in hand with the Hotel Russell to offer some of the finest conference and banqueting that central London has to offer. Glasgow is a thriving tourism and conference destination and the acquisition of The Glasgow Central Hotel is in keeping with our strategy of offering dedicated conference hotels in key city centre locations around the UK."
The acquisitions mean the hotel and conference group, owned by private equity company Permira, now owns 24 hotels in the UK, France and Spain in total.
Troy added: "Even in today`s challenging economic climate we are confident that our unique model of offering an ‘a la carte selection of high quality city centre hotels and dedicated conference, event and training venues is one which will continue to appeal to both the corporate and leisure markets alike and this acquisition further enforces our commitment to grow."