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Sale of boutique hotels

11 Apr 2022 3 min

Our clients were looking to divest their interest in a high profile boutique hotel group in London. The holding structure was complex, with a combination of companies, LLPs and general partnerships, each holding different interests ranging from title to freehold and leasehold property through to management agreement arrangements.

The challenge: so many moving parts

The seller group consisted of a number of different stakeholders, each of whom had differing interests in the assets being acquired. The buyer was a sophisticated off-shore hotel operator but with little experience of the UK market. Each of the buyer and the seller had existing funders in place, and in addition the buyer and seller agreed complex deferred payment mechanism which in turn involved the seller lending to the buyer a significant sum on secured terms, including security both on and off-shore.

To top it all, the deal happened at the height of the first wave of the COVID pandemic.

Our approach: transparency and patience

With so many moving parts and stakeholders, our banking, real estate and corporate teams came together to provide integrated project management, as well as negotiating a number of complex and challenging commercial issues.

The outcome: onwards and upwards

Against all the odds staked against the hospitality sector in the global pandemic, the sale completed to the relief and joy of all concerned. A thorough approach to legal due diligence enabled us to demonstrate to the buyer the value of the long term assets; much negotiating resulted in a robust security package guaranteeing the repayment for the vendor loans and the sellers were able to realise their value in order to pursue other interests.

How we made a difference

The key lay in pulling together a dedicated team of lawyers from several practice areas who were able to provide integrated advice on complex issues and relay that in a coordinated and simple fashion to our clients and the buyer.