Nikko checks out of Menzies Hotels

Nikko Principal Investments (NPIL) has sold a chain of hotels for €270m to property investor aAIM and R20, the private equity vehicle of Robert Tchenguiz, the Iranian tycoon.

The business consists of 15 UK provincial 4 star hotel and is run by Nick Menzies, a former executive of Thistle Hotels who set up the company in 1992. He will remain CEO with a 17% stake, with the rest of the management team sharing 5%. The remainder is held by Piccadilly Hotels, the joint venture owned 50/50 by aAIM and R20.

The pair are to use Menzies Hotel as a platform to consolidate the provincial 4 star hotel market and it is reported they are planning to invest a further €270m will be invested into the company to double its size.

NPIL acquired the chain in December 2004 paying €180m and made two acquisitions during its investment period: the Menzies Glasgow Hotel in May 2005 and the Menzies Cambridge Hotel in January 2006. In addition NPIL supported a substantial investment in the Welcombe Hotel and Spa, which underwent a major refurbishment, including the creation of a luxury Spa and health club.

Simon Oakland, principal of NPIL, said: “This has been a highly successful transaction for NPIL. Through a combination of investment in the core estate, carefully targeted acquisitions and the leadership of Nick Menzies, we have been able to realise a return in less than two years that very nearly doubles our equity investment and that of the Menzies family.”