King & Wood Mallesons advises China-based HK CTS Metropark Hotels on the acquisition of Kew Green Hotels

King & Wood Mallesons has harnessed its global capability, bringing together teams in London and Hong Kong to advise Chinese travel group HK CTS Metropark Hotels Co Ltd (CTS) on the acquisition of the entire issued share capital of UK based Kew Green Hotels from previous owners Goldman Sachs and TPG Special Situations Partners.

Kew Green, founded in 2001, has 54 hotels in the UK, more than 40 of which are operated under the Holiday or Holiday Inn Express brands, making it the brand’s largest franchisee in Europe. With operations including the five-star Grand in Brighton, five Ramada hotels, a Crowne Plaza at Liverpool’s John Lennon airport, and a Courtyard by Marriott at Gatwick airport, as well as managing a further 10 UK hotels for other owners,  Kew Green is one of the most respected hotel owner operators in the market.

CTS, a wholly-owned subsidiary of China National Travel Service (HK) Group Corporation, operates hotels throughout China, Hong Kong and Macau, and features a portfolio of five-star luxury Grand Metropark hotels to Traveller Inn Express budget sites.

The current portfolio provides the Chinese hotels company with a spread of franchised hotels across the UK. The relationship with the existing franchise partners will remain unchanged and the senior management of Kew Green will be retained to ensure the continued stewardship and growth of the business across the UK and into Europe.

Steven Cowins, Funds and Indirect Real Estate partner at King & Wood Mallesons, said: “This is a strategic acquisition for CTS as they take advantage of the expansion and rapid growth of Chinese tourism in Europe, which is an exciting development in the European hotels market. As direct investment from China into the hotel sector looks set to increase, CTS will be able to fully establish their presence in the UK and Europe at the beginning of this growing trend.  We were pleased CTS chose to instruct KWM for its Asian inbound investment and hotels abilities.”  

Helena Huang, M&A and Private Equity partner at King & Wood Mallesons, said: “We are delighted to have been able to employ our transactional cross border capabilities to support CTS to diversify its geographic footprint. Our enhanced global reach, alongside our strength and depth in Asia and Europe, allows us to represent Chinese clients in their overseas acquisitions and help them to connect with opportunities in Europe in a meaningful way.”

The full cross-border team at King & Wood Mallesons was led by Funds and Indirect Real Estate partner Steven Cowins in London and M&A and Private Equity partner Helena Huang in Hong Kong.

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