Burford in pounds 100m hotels venture
Tuesday 25 March 1997
The deal looks certain to be the prelude to another Burford demerger to follow the recent spin-offs of three businesses including the Trocadero leisure complex in London's Piccadilly Circus.
Burford has been in negotiations since before Christmas with Ian Schrager about recreating his successful "lifestyle" hotels for wealthy baby-boomers in Europe. He made his name in the 1970s with Studio 54, the New York nightclub whose regulars included Bianca Jagger and Andy Warhol before opening a string of chic hotels across America. Mr Schrager continues to rub shoulders with the rich and fashionable and boasts Madonna as a partner in his Miami hotel, the Delano. He will be managing director of the joint venture and will be responsible for the development and operation of the hotels.
Nick Leslau, Burford's chief executive, said yesterday: "There is little doubt that Ian has created a business which is the envy of the hotel world. We are extremely excited about the prospect of working with him to create an exciting range of highly individual hotels in London and Europe."
Burford, the UK's ninth-largest property company, has bought three office buildings in London with a view to getting permission to change their use to hotels and acquired an option on a fourth near London's Covent Garden last year.
The move into hotels is the latest diversification for Burford, which has used a blue-chip property portfolio bought from the wreckage of the early 1990s recession as a springboard for a raft of related leisure businesses.
It has teamed up with Sega of Japan to exploit the heavy flow of tourist traffic through its Trocadero centre and even acquired the rights to favourite children's character Noddy.
Hotels are enjoying a prolonged boom, especially in the capital, where rising demand has combined with an almost total absence of new hotel building since the recession to provide perfect conditions for the industry.
The proposed deal also highlights Burford's technique of spinning off its leisure businesses to benefit from the higher ratings attached to these operations than its core property activities while retaining a stake in the companies' fortunes.
Burford also demerged Grantchester, its retail warehouse operation, and Columbus, a publishing business. There are plans afoot to subdivide the Trocadero even further by hiving off the licensing business surrounding the Enid Blyton portfolio.
It has been a successful formula, with Mr Leslau and his partner, Nigel Wray, emerging as the property sector's favourite entrepreneurs. Burford's shares have risen almost tenfold in the past four years.
- 1 VMAs 2015: Was Nicki Minaj and Miley Cyrus' awkward acceptance put-down real or staged?
- 2 If you're not already angry about the migrant crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
- 3 Rules on 5p plastic bags likely to lead to arguments at the check-out
- 4 Chaos breaks out in courtroom as father attacks killer of three-year-old daughter
- 5 Blood Moon and Supermoon: September to bring brightest – and dimmest – full Moon of the year on same night
VMAs 2015: Was Nicki Minaj and Miley Cyrus' awkward acceptance put-down real or staged?
Bank Holiday Monday opening times: Are Tesco, Asda and other supermarkets open today?
The nine most warmongering countries in the world revealed
Isis releases graphic video showing four Shia 'spies' being burned alive in Anbar, Iraq
Blood Moon and Supermoon: September to bring brightest – and dimmest – full Moon of the year on same night
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Tony Blair attacks Jeremy Corbyn's 'Alice In Wonderland' politics
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
iJobs Money & Business
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: From modest beginnings the comp...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: From modest beginnings the comp...
£15000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...