Commercial property specialists Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) will be exclusively marketing the sale of a holding company, St. Ermin's Operating. The sole asset of the company, which is owned by US hotel investment and management firm Amerimar, global fund manager Angelo Gordon and real estate company Gracemark, is the 331-bed hotel on Caxton Street.
JLL also revealed the hotel will be advertised with a guide price of £500k per room with the vacant possession freehold of the property available to potential buyers.
St. Ermin's hotel was opened just over a year ago by Accor under the MGallery brand - making the venue the first under the upscale brand to open in the UK. A franchise agreement allowed the hotel access to Accor's distribution channels and booking system.
A spokesperson for JLL confirmed the agreement with Accor would remain in place but could be terminated on sale if the new owners wished.
Jonathan Sheard, managing director MGallery Collection, Accor hotels UK & Ireland, said: “It is common practice for hotels to change ownership frequently. Since its opening last year under our franchise agreement, the hotel has seen an exceptional growth in value, demonstrating the strength of our distribution channels. We hope the very successful partnership with St Ermin’s continues well in to the future.”
A group of investors, including Pennsylvania-based Amerimar, purchased St. Ermin's from NH Hotels in May 2010 for £65m. The real estate development firm then embarked on a £30m refurbishment programme to restore it to its 'former glory' and increase the number of bedrooms via conversion of an adjoining property.
At the time the project was the first acquisition and redevelopment for the firm outside the US.
According to JLL Hotels the decision to sell is to take advantage of the 'increasing investor demand' for hotel assets in the capital. George Nicholas, executive vice president of JLL Hotels, said London RevPAR growth and the hotel's location in an area of regeneration made it a good purchase opportunity.
"With 331 luxurious guest rooms, freedom to brand and operate the hotel to a buyer’s liking and situated on just under an acre of freehold land this represents a distinguished and rare investment opportunity."
Last month JLL Hotels revealed UK hotel investment was the most active in the Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region although 'more creative' transactions were often being explored.
Accor reopened the hotel in April last year retaining the St. Ermin's name but under the MGallery brand. Created in 2008, the brand, which boasts actress Kristin Scott Thomas as an ambassador, has nearly 50 hotels in 18 countries around the world.
The upscale brand for the France-based global hotel operator is expected to grow to more than 150 sites by 2015. Last month Accor announced it was to open the first UK MGallery outside London in Bath. The Grade I listed Francis Hotel Bath was previously operated by the hotelier as the Mercure Bath Francis Hotel.