Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. has been hired by the Barclay brothers who own The Ritz London to work alongside Spartan Advisors, the investment and advisory firm founded by the brothers’ long-term associate Richard Faber, according to people familiar with the sale process. The hotel will be offered to a handful of global investors, together with a building next door on Arlington Street that could pave the way for an extension of about 50 rooms, the people said, asking not to be identified as the details are private.
Any buyer will have the option to install their own brand, meaning luxury hotel groups could also bid, they said. The hotel’s adjoining casino has the potential to be transformed for an alternative use, including as a private members’ club, they said. It is, however, unclear whether the buyer will also acquire rights for the use of the Ritz London brand.
Historically, Ritz properties in Paris, Madrid and Barcelona were among those opened by legendary hotelier Cesar Ritz. Presently, the owner of the El Palace Barcelona Hotel has been unable to regain rights to use the Ritz Barcelona brand, the Ritz hotel brand in Spain being controlled by the joint venture company between Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group and Saudi Arabia’s Olayan Group, which is currently renovating the Ritz Madrid, soon to reopen as Hotel Ritz Madrid, a Mandarin Oriental Hotel.
Though no guide price has yet been set, according to the people familiar with the sale, the Times of London newspaper has reported that the deal could fetch as much as 800 million pounds ($1 billion). That price reflects about a 70% premium over the price per room at which the brothers sold their stake in Maybourne Hotel Group to Qatar’s Constellation Hotels.
David and Frederick Barclay bought the property, which occupies a prime corner of London’s St James’s district overlooking Green Park and Piccadilly, for about 75 million pounds in 1995.
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