Thailand-based Lake Merritt Group acquires Eight Acres Hotel from Crerar Hotels

14 February 2020

Eight Acres Hotel in Elgin has been acquired by Thailand-based Lake Merritt Group, from Crerar Hotel Group.

With a guide price of offers in the region of £3,500,000 for the feuhold (similar to freehold in the rest of the UK) property and business, the sale was brokered by the specialist hotels and agency team at Colliers International.

The 52-bedroom hotel, which also features a large bar, Darroch restaurant and an extensive range of meeting and conference rooms. The property also includes a leisure complex including swimming pool and spa bath and gymnasium.

The deal completed by Lake Merritt Group follows their purchase last year of 78 letting bedroom Windermere Hydro Hotel, also brokered by Colliers International, which added to its existing Scottish hotels ownership of Braid Hills Hotel, Edinburgh.

Julian Troup, Head of UK Hotels Agency at Colliers International, commented: “The marketing of Eight Acres Hotel was conducted in a confidential fashion and attracted a healthy level of interest. It is a further example of domestic and overseas buyers looking to secure a hotel in a popular Scottish location.

“The sale is indicative of a wider trend of increased demand for quality provincial hotel opportunities from a diverse range of potential buyers, ranging from international investors attracted by weaker sterling and improving trading prospects, private buyers seeking the benefits of a lifestyle opportunity and corporate investors focused on favourable returns and real estate alternatives.”

Prab Thakral, an adviser to Lake Merritt Group commented: “The Eight Acres Hotel is an exciting addition to our fast growing portfolio in UK and it was our pleasure to be working with Colliers International’s UK Hotel Agency team and Crerar Hotel Group in completing this magnificent hotel deal. The Eight Acres Hotel is Lake Merritt Group’s second hotel in Scotland and fourth in UK and we are aggressively and diligently expanding our hotel portfolio, as we have a long term positive view in UK’s hospitality industry as a whole.”

Paddy Crerar CBE, chief executive of Crerar Hotel Group, added: “We are very pleased with this sale, which is another key milestone in our right-sizing strategy and takes us even closer to achieving our aim of being Scotland’s highest quality family of hotels and Inns.

“The Eight Acres has been an excellent asset for us. However, the agreed deal was simply too generous for us to ignore, particularly as the good chemistry with such experienced buyers made it a painless journey. It once again confirms that the appetite for quality Scottish assets continues to grow, which is a clear backing for the already rock-solid Scottish tourism sector.”

Crerar Hotels now has a reduced portfolio of seven key hotels within their portfolio and remain fully committed to the Scottish tourism sector, having reinvested more than £10m back into the estate as a result of the recent sales led by Colliers International.

Crerar concluded: “Colliers’ work with us and advice has been tremendous and, as a result this latest sale, has been the starting gun for a £3m reinvestment plan in our 85-bedroom Isle of Mull hotel, where work is now underway.

“In addition to our thanks to Colliers International, we must also praise the solid and commercial focus of Shepherd and Wedderburn, most ably led by managing partner Andrew Blain.”

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