Blackstone acquires Mint hotels in UK

It appears the DoubleTree by Hilton and Hilton Garden Inn brands just received nice boosts to their pipelines with Friday’s announced deal of the Blackstone Group acquiring City Inn Ltd. and its eight-unit Mint Hotel chain for a reported £600 million (US$947 million). Sources say Blackstone plans to convert all of these hotels to the two Hilton-operated brands.

Seven of the Mint hotels, a brand founded in 1995 as City Inn and rebranded last year, are located in the U.K. (two in London) with the last hotel opening earlier this year in Amsterdam. The mostly newer, well-located hotels have based their reputation on offering quality, innovation, outstanding customer service and good value. Mint hotels offer Apple iMacs in every room and free WiFi.

The hotels were put on the market in January by Lloyds Banking Group and the chain’s co-founder, David Orr, after the company breached the terms of its debt with Lloyds’s property investment unit Uberior Ventures. In March, Mint reported a £24.5 million (US$38.7 million) loss for 12 months and debt that totaled £417 million (US$658 million).

According to a Bloomberg report, the acquisition is being financed with a £300 million (US$472 million) senior loan from Deutsche Bank AG and £80 million (US$126 million) of junior debt provided by Duet Real Estate Finance.

The Mint Hotel in Glasgow. Photo used courtesy of Mint Hotel
The Mint Hotel in Glasgow. Photo used courtesy of Mint Hotel