China's HK CTS Metropark buys Kew Green, manager of Brighton's Grand Hotel

Updated: 2015-08-10 21:12

By Cecily Liu(

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China's HK CTS Metropark Hotels Co Ltd on Monday acquired Kew Green Hotels Ltd, a British-based hotel management group which runs the iconic Grand hotel in Brighton, the latest in a wave of Chinese overseas acquisitions in recent years.

Kew Green, which owns 44 UK hotels with 5,179 rooms and manages a further 10 UK hotels for other owners, was acquired by HK CTS Metropark Hotels but its senior management will remain. Kew Green wouldn't disclose the price and wouldn't comment on a report in the London Times that it was at least £400 million.

The Grand in Brighton, which is owned by Wittington Investments, was bombed by the Irish Republican Army 1984 while the then British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and her colleagues were staying there for the Conservative Party Conference. Kew Green, under its new Chinese owners, will continue to manage the Grand.

Kew Green has been owned by Goldman Sachs'and TPG Special Situations Partners since 2013. Before that Kew Green underwent a debt-for-equity swap that handed the control of the company to Barclays and Lloyds Banking Group in 2011.

Jeremy Xu, Chairman of HK CTS Metropark, said the purchase of Kew Green is a tremendous acquisition that provides his team with a strategic growth platform within the UK and across Europe.

HK CTS Metropark is a part of China National Travel Service Group of Hong Kong. It operates hotels throughout China, Hong Kong and Macau.

"Investing overseas will enable us to bridge Chinese tourism with the rest of the world. The acquisition of the first rate Kew Green Hotels business is the first step and it gives us this ability and provides a platform to grow from,” Xu said.

Paul Johnson, Chief Executive Officer of Kew Green, said that his team is delighted that HK CTS Metropark Hotels has chosen to invest in Kew Green. "Their support will allow us to continue our aggressive growth strategy as well as giving us access into the rapidly growing Chinese tourist market.”

Jamie Lamb, Chief Financial Officer of Kew Green, said his team is looking forward to further expansion with HK CTS Metropark throughout the UK and Europe.

"This is an exciting opportunity for company and the management team at Kew Green Hotels," Lamb said.

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