Golden Tulip

In August 2002 Graphite invested in Golden Tulip, a start-up developer and manager of superior budget hotels in the UK. We agreed to fund the roll-out of both freehold and leasehold properties.

At the time of our investment, the superior budget hotel market was an under-supplied, yet growing, sector of the UK hotel market. Graphite backed an experienced management team that had identified an opportunity to roll-out superior budget hotels. They had secured the UK franchise to the Golden Tulip brand, a well-known and respected continental European hotel chain, with which to exploit this opportunity.

Graphite had previously successfully backed the chief executive who had significant experience in sourcing development sites and managing the process from site acquisition to finished hotel. Through a combination of greenfield development, acquisition and a management contract the group grew to operate six hotels and had a strong pipeline of planned new openings.

Key Business Achievements

Agreed a £100 million financing package with a third party to finance hotels

Developed and operated six hotels in the UK and had a strong pipeline for further openings

Improved operational and financial controls over the portfolio to maximise value

Reduced its borrowings via the sale and lease back of two hotels enabling it to repay part of Graphite’s investment

Considerably grew turnover and operating profit

3.0 x

Return on Graphite's Investment

Business Exit

In 2007 Golden Tulip was sold for £44 million to Whitbread PLC, generating a multiple of 3.0 times cost and an IRR of 35 per cent.