Millennium & Copthorne actively seeking hotel acquisitions

LONDON Millennium & Copthorne Hotels PLC is actively hunting for new hotel acquisitions, but the London-based company has yet to find any opportunities that fit its strategic criteria.

CEO Richard Hartman says the company is firmly in expansion mode, but the potential acquisitions that M&C has recently scrutinized have not been accretive to earnings. “We look at many projects that are coming up for sale. There are half a dozen on our desk for analysis, but nothing has come of it,” Hartman tells The Wall Street Journal. “So far most of the deals we have come across are either too expensive or in locations we are not interested in.”

M&C has received offers for some of its non-core assets, Hartman says, but no divestments are currently planned.

The company has posted strong fourth quarter and full-year 2010 results. M&C reports profit before tax of £36.7 million for the fourth quarter, an increase of 24.4% year-on-year. For the full year, pre-tax profit rose 57% to £128.6 million.

Hartman has announced his retirement, and M&C expects to announce his replacement before the end of the first quarter.