Online retailer splashes out £50m on boutique city centre hotels

Great John Street Hotel
X The Business Desk

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One of Manchester’s biggest firms has snapped up two up-market hotels in the city.

The Hut Group – which is in the process of building a new headquarters close to Manchester Airport – has bought the King Street Townhouse and Great John Street Hotel.

The deal for the two exclusive venues is believed to be in the region of £50m.

The acquisition of Eclectic Hotel Group is part of The Hut Group’s growing marketing plans.

The aim is to delivering consumer experiences, influencer and brand-led events as well as content creation.

The boutique hotels have 70 rooms in total along with award-winning events and entertaining space which include lounge and bar areas as well as roof-top terraces.

The deal will also see a £10m refurbishment with the first work at Great John Street Hotel.

The Eclectic Hotel Group was acquired from founders Eamonn and Sally O’Loughlin, who will continue to own and manage Didsbury House Hotel and Eleven Didsbury Park.

The Hut Group already owns the Hale Country Club & Spa which it acquired in July 2016.

Matthew Moulding , founder and CEO of The Hut Group told the Manchester Evening News: “We host regular events with influencers and brands coming into Manchester from across the globe.

“We have been looking for an events space across the UK for a while but we chose the Eclectic Hotel Group due to its strong reputation.

“Both hotels are in impressive buildings, they are among the highest rated sites in Manchester for events space. They not only give us the opportunity to host events but to also bring our brands to life and driving greater engagement with our customers.”

He added: “Our plan isn’t to become a mass hotelier. Our acquisition of Hale Country Club three years ago has worked very well for us, and we felt that this was the right thing to do.

“We have a real drive for owning the space we use whether that’s our own software to the buildings we operate in. It’s why we have committed £1bn to create a new campus at Airport City as we continue to extend our global footprint.”

Eamonn O’Loughlin, founder of the Eclectic Hotel Group, said: “Without the support and commitment of our many fantastic employees over the past 20 years none of this would have been possible. A massive thank you to them.

“While it has been a difficult decision for us to take, we feel both hotels are going into the best of hands with Matthew and his team and we are extremely proud of the portfolio that we have built over the years.”

The Hut Group was advised by KPMG for financial due diligence, Deloitte for tax due diligence and Gowling WLG for legal advice.

The vendors were advised by Convex Capital and Freeman Fisher.