De Vere Venues is to close its Sunningdale office, with staff either being made redundant or transferring to Principal Hayley’s Harrogate HQ.
Access’ sister title Conference News (CN), learnt that De Vere’s finance director has followed Tony Dangerfield out of the business along with a number of other senior personnel including Darren Patt who was managing director of the managed venue business.
Commenting to CN an industry observer said: “This will be a tough blow to the De Vere management team who, despite their financial woes, believed they were in the driving seat for the top jobs. As soon as De Vere’s CEO Dangerfield went this was inevitable, and Tony Troy will want his own team around him. If Patt has gone it probably signals Starwood don’t see value in managing assets they don’t own.”
De Vere’s Adrian Oswinski and Ian Conder have reportedly secured roles in the new team. De Vere Venues has yet to respond to the reports.
Meanwhile, American private equity owner of the Belfry golf course, KSL Capital Partners, is reported to have agreed terms to buy the 25 hotels and operating business of Village Urban Resorts, De Vere’s mid-market hotel chain, for £490m.
The sale of the business, which comprises 3,100 rooms, was launched by JPMorgan in the summer and is said to have attracted 20 bids.
The 25 hotels are based mainly in major cities across the UK including, Aberdeen, Birmingham, Blackpool, Cardiff, Coventry, Edinburgh, Leeds, London, Manchester, Newcastle and Swansea.
Lloyds took control of De Vere in 2010 following its acquisition of HBOS which had accumulated £1.75bn of bad loans from the hospitality business. The Village sale will pay down a good chunk of Lloyds’ remaining debt, and take Lloyds’ disposals from De Vere to more than £1bn.
De Vere was born out of the hotel assets of brewer Greenall and then sold in 2006 to Alternative Hotel Group, run by Richard Balfour-Lynn in collaboration with HBOS.
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