Friday, March 24, 2006

WA Shearings Completes £110m Sale Leaseback 39 UK Hotels

Yorkshire Post - March 24, 2006

Holiday firm WA Shearings has sold a portfolio of 39 of its UK hotels in a sale and leaseback deal worth £110m which will allow it to pay off much of its debt. The sale to property investment firm Moorfield Group comes a year after the £200m merger of Leeds-based Coach Holiday Group owner of Wallace Arnold and Wigan rival Shearings Holidays to create Britain's biggest coach holiday operator with more than 3,000 staff, a fleet of 400 coaches and coach, air and hotel holidays to more than 170 destinations in Britain and Europe.

A team from Deloitte in Leeds advised on both the merger and the sale and leaseback deal in which other Yorkshire advisers were also involved. The deal will see WA Shearings continue to operate all of the hotels, many of which are in seaside resorts and allow it to pay off a substantial part of the debt taken on at the time of the merger.

WA Shearings has signed long- term leases on the hotels, will have full operational control over the assets and will control a £25m capital investment programme over the next five years. The trend of separation between asset ownership and operation is increasingly common within the hotel sector with Travelodge, Hilton, Thistle and Accor all completing similar transactions in the last few years. Sphere: Related Content

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