At the time of our investment, the superior budget hotel market was an under-supplied, 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 built a strong pipeline for further openings
Improved operational and financial controls over the portfolio to maximise value
Reduced borrowings via the sale and lease-back of two hotels enabling the group to repay part of Graphite’s investment
Considerably grew turnover and operating profit from a standing start
Return on Graphite's Investment
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.