Principal Hotels acquires Hayley Conference Centres for £358 million

25 May 2007

Principal Hotels, a company owned by the Permira Funds, (“Permira”) today announced the acquisition of Hayley Conference Centres (“Hayley”) from its founding management team, which is led by Alan English and Norman Bellone, and 3i.

Hayley Conference Centres offer unique “stately-home” type properties which complement Principal Hotels’ existing portfolio. Seen as leaders in the conference and training market, the eight Hayley Conference Centres are renowned for exceptional levels of service and will provide an excellent geographic fit to the Principal Hotels portfolio. There is a further Hayley Conference Centre under construction near Paris which will be opened in 2008.

The combination of Principal Hotels and Hayley offers two distinct brands with an “a la carte” selection of Hotels and Conference centres. The combined group has a total of 17 sites offering 3,000 bedrooms with the potential to develop an additional 500 rooms. The 400 meeting rooms across the two businesses have the capacity to serve in excess of 20,000 daily conference delegates.

Tony Troy, CEO of Principal Hotels, said “We are delighted with the acquisition of Hayley. Hayley is a highly respected brand in the conference and meetings industry. The combined group offers two distinct brands of hotels and conference centres in strategically important locations. The development of Château de Saint Just near Paris will also allow us a platform for growth into Europe.”

Martin Clarke, Partner at Permira commented, “The acquisition of Hayley Conference Centres demonstrates Permira’s support of the buy and build strategy for Principal Hotels in the UK and Europe and is part of an ongoing acquisition strategy designed to create one of the UK’s leading hotel groups”.

Richard Bishop, partner at 3i commented "This is a very successful outcome to a long partnership between Hayley and 3i. We originally backed the start up of Hayley then reinvested in 2005 to support the international growth strategy.”

Over the past 16 years Hayley has become renowned for providing exceptional standards of venues and service to the business market.  The acquisition of Hayley by Principal Hotels will strengthen this brand further and improve the offering to Hayley’s customers and the customers of Principal Hotels. In doing so, it will strengthen the brand and market share for both companies.

As part of its growth strategy, Principal Hotels has also recently acquired St. David’s Hotel & Spa in Cardiff and Hawkstone Park and Golf Club in Shropshire.

Notes to editors

About Principal Hotels

Principal Hotels is a collection of upper 4 and 5 star hotels in key locations across the UK and has an established reputation in the residential conference market. The Group is committed to offer unrivalled services for the events market and has invested heavily in the portfolio. The investment in all the hotels has seen the creation of a luxurious, stylish and contemporary collection of properties, whilst respecting the architectural character of each individual hotel. http://www.principal-hotels.com/

The Principal Hotels collection comprises of:

The George Hotel Edinburgh; The Royal York Hotel and Events Centre, York; The Met, Leeds; The Palace Hotel, Manchester; The Hotel Russell, London; Selsdon Park Hotel & Golf Club, Greater London; St David’s Hotel & Spa, Cardiff; Hawkstone Park and Country Club, Shropshire.

Hayley Conference Centres comprise of:

Alexandra House, Swindon; Beaumont House, Old Windsor; Cranage Hall, South Manchester; Eastwood Hall, Nottingham; Ettington Chase, Stratford upon Avon; Horwood House, Milton Keynes; Sedgebrook Hall, Northampton; Wotton House, Dorking; Château de Saint Just, Paris.  

About 3i

3i is a world leader in private equity and venture capital.  We focus on Buyouts, Growth Capital, Venture Capital and Infrastructure and invest across Europe, the United States and Asia.  Our competitive advantage comes from our international network and the strength and breadth of our relationships in business.  These underpin the value that we deliver to our portfolio and to our shareholders.

3i Growth Capital is the world’s largest growth capital fund investing over €1bn every year in businesses across Europe, Asia and the US.  We provide financial and strategic support to established businesses with the potential for outstanding value growth.  We invest between €10m - €250m to help businesses achieve their growth ambitions, restructure shareholdings, release equity or change the balance of equity to debt.  Once we have invested, we are committed to working in partnership with majority shareholders.

Recent investments include KNEIP, €37m, Luxembourg; Delta Hydrocarbons, €185m, Benelux; UFO Moviez, India, €17m; Electrawinds, Benelux, €30m; Consultim Finance, France, €18m; ACR, Singapore, €150m; Navayuga Engineering, India, €35m; Giraffe, UK, €15m; €32m; Sten, Spain, €100m and HTC, Sweden, €11m.  Recent realisations include SeLoger.com, France, €350m; Alimak Hek, Sweden, €238m; Salamander Energy, UK, €307m; CH4 Energy, UK, €224m; Magix, Germany, €207m; Williams Lea, UK, €165m; and Petrofac, UK, €1.1bn. 

For further information please contact:

Kathryn van der Kroft
email. kathryn.vanderkroft@3i.com
tel.  +44 207 975 3021