Granada clears another hurdle in hotel sale

Granada cleared another hurdle in its protracted sale of Forte's Exclusive hotels yesterday, selling New York's Hotel Plaza Athenee on the Upper East Side to TCC, a privately owned Thai conglomerate that operates the Imperial chain of hotels.

The sale, for pounds 42.5m, brings to pounds 400m the gross value of the Exclusive disposals, which have been achieved at an aggregate premium to book value of around pounds 65m.

Granada also confirmed the completion of the recently announced pounds 90m disposal of two Westbury hotels to Elliott Bernerd's Chelsfield property group.

The sale of the Plaza Athenee follows recent speculation that Granada was having difficulty securing buyers for several former Forte hotels. It recently took the pounds 350m Grosvenor House hotel in London's Park Lane off the market, claiming it could achieve better value for shareholders by keeping the hotel and improving it.

It is also thought the company is struggling to find buyers for two hotels in Italy and another in Paris that would offer enough to match book value. Granada has said it would rather keep hotels than cut prices.

Despite the reported problems, Granada has achieved good prices on some of its disposals, realising a total of pounds 228m for its prestigious George V hotel in Paris, the Hyde Park in London and Barbados's Sandy Lane, well above their combined book value of pounds 189m.

The latest disposal brings to pounds 1.3bn the total raised from asset sales since the pounds 3.9bn takeover of Forte at the beginning of 1996. These include the Welcome Break chain of motorway service stations for pounds 476m, the White Hart chain of hotels for pounds 122m and Granada's stake in Alpha Airports.

Still on the block remain a 68 per cent stake in the Savoy Group, Browns Hotel in London and a handful of hotels as far afield as Warsaw's Hotel Bristol and the King Edward in Toronto.

During the bitter bid battle for control of Forte, Granada said it would raise pounds 1.3bn by September 1997.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Evening Administrator

£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established early...

Guru Careers: Executive Assistant / PA

£30 - 35k + Bonus & Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Executive Assist...

Ashdown Group: Graduate Application Support Analyst

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Reach Volunteering: External Finance Trustee Needed!

Voluntary post, reasonable expenses reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Would you ...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot