Blackstone roars into £850m Village Hotels auction

Blackstone, the world's most prolific private equity investor in real estate, has roared into the £850m auction of Village Hotels, the mid-market hotel chain.

Sky News has learnt that Blackstone, which owns property assets in Britain worth billions of pounds, has tabled an offer to buy Village.

City sources said on Wednesday that Sixth Street, another US-based investment firm, was also in contention for the deal.

Earlier this month, Sky News revealed that Aermont, the majority backer of Pinewood Studios, was among the suitors vying to buy Village.

The chain, which operates more than 30 sites, is owned by KSL Capital Partners.

KSL is said to be seeking offers worth in the region of £850m, with bankers at Morgan Stanley handling the auction.

It comes months after attempts to sell Center Parcs UK were called off, while a mooted sale of Travelodge has so far failed to result in a deal.

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Village Hotels comprises a portfolio of properties from Aberdeen to Bournemouth, with rooms available at budget prices.

Founded in 1995 as Village Urban Resorts, the hotels feature pub-style restaurants and gyms.

KSL was reported to have paid £485m for the business when it bought it in 2014 from De Vere Group.

The Denver, Colorado-based buyout firm has also owned other UK hotel chains including Hotel du Vin and Malmaison.

Blackstone and Sixth Street declined to comment.