China enters bidding war for Maybourne Hotel Group

LONDON The China government has made a surprise bid to acquire a stake in Maybourne Hotel Group, less than a week after the billionaire Barclay brothers had apparently wrested control of the high-profile portfolio.

The 11th-hour bid for Maybourne—composed of The Berkeley, Claridge’s and The Connaught hotels in London—a has left stakeholder Paddy McKillen weighing his options. Terms of the bid have not been disclosed, but it is believed to be for a 37% of the company, Daily Mail reports.

The earlier bid from David and Frederick Barclay would give them a controlling stake in Maybourne. The brothers, who already own 25% of Coroin Ltd.—the parent company of Maybourne—would acquire an additional 35% stake from another part-owner, Derek Quinlan.

China and another earlier Maybourne bidder, Qatar Holdings, were reportedly caught off guard by news that the Barclays’ bid had been accepted by Quinlan. Each had submitted bids worth more than £1 billion late last year for the whole company.

Property brokers have estimated Maybourne to be worth between £700 million and £1 billion.