New partnership targets investment and management opportunities

Capita Symonds has launched a partnership with hotel developer Oxford Hotels and real estate investment vehicle Equiture with a view to making “outright acquisitions” across the £10bn sector.

The property and infrastructure consultancy said it was looking for investment and asset management opportunities, and would work with equity partners to buy up investment and development opportunities, as well as with banks and other stakeholders to turn around hotels in their “workout” portfolios.

It said it would oversee the full design and delivery of hotel refurbishments and developments, while an Equiture and Oxford Hotels team would be responsible for securing opportunities and enhancing the profitability of hotel investments through active asset management.

In addition to acquiring and financing hotels on behalf of third-party investors, the partnership will negotiate new operator agreements.

Capita Symonds managing director Jonathan Goring said the partnership would originate, finance, manage and operate hotel investments and developments throughout the UK in a “cohesive and pro-active way not previously seen in the sector”.

“Our hotel offering is intended to be the first of a series of such ventures, designed to create work in non-traditional ways,” he said.

Simon Wood of Oxford Hotels said the model would grow hotel portfolio values through revenue enhancements and cost savings.

“As the market improves and travel budgets increase, our portfolios should be well placed to benefit,” he said.

Tim Smith, of global specialist hotel valuation, consulting and brokerage firm HVS, said the partnership offered both a short-term and long-term solution to owners and financiers and a real alternative to insolvency and the huge impact on value.

“Its innovative product should be a highly attractive option for asset owners in the market,” he said.