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13 January 2015  By Lucy Roue

Topland has exchanged contracts to buy The Feathers Group, a portfolio of eight hotels across the north west, including in Manchester.

The acquisition which is due to complete later this month is the latest in a bold investment strategy to expand its growing leisure division through owning and operating regional hotels. It has now spent £200m in 13 months acquiring 28 hotels.

CEO Sol Zakay said: "I am delighted with the addition of The Feathers portfolio to Topland’s hotel platform in a strategic off market transaction which enhances our impressive track record.

"Our intention is to invest further in our existing hotels to strengthen performance, and to deploy significant further capital in new opportunities to grow the portfolio."

The Feathers Group portfolio comprises of 726 bedrooms across north west properties including the Willow Bank in Manchester. And will add to existing interests of owned and managed hotels, including Menzies Hotels and Hallmark Hotels.

Topland own and manage 29 hotels approaching 3,000 rooms, providing accommodation to both corporate and leisure guests, including golf courses and spas.

To achieve longer term value, the company’s stated strategy includes significant capital investment  to ensure the hotels will outperform their rivals, whilst benefitting from efficiencies brought about through the growing portfolio. 

Lionel Benjamin, Director of Hotels, said: "The Feathers Group is a great addition, complementing the Menzies and Hallmark acquisitions, and enhancing the growth of our hotel portfolio.

"Our internal team are very hands on in day to day operations, with Bespoke operating as Topland’s management arm. Our combined management expertise will continue to focus on driving revenue and exceeding EBITDA expectations across the portfolio to maximise value. The Feathers acquisition underpins Topland’s long-term commercial strategy in the hotel sector.”

Paul Feather, Feathers’ Chairman and owner, said: "The Feathers Hotel Group is a family run business that has been built up by my family and management team over the last 60 years.

"Although this is the end of an era for us, it is the start of an exciting new phase for the business under Topland’s ownership and we wish them all the success for the future.”

Paul Feather was advised by Mark Rathbone at the solicitors Brabners, Manchester and the corporate finance team at Deloitte.