A West Highland businessman has put a trio of north hotels up for sale, seeking offers in the region of £6.85 million for all three.
Oban-born Paddy Crerar said yesterday he was doing so to raise cash to invest in his “very best” hotels.
He is eyeing business from some of the more “affluent” people visiting Scotland as the country enjoys a tourism boom.
The 92-bedroom Ben Wyvis Hotel in Strathpeffer, 83-bedroom Craiglynne Hotel in Grantown-on-Spey and 52-bedroom Eight Acres Hotel in Elgin are initially being offered as a portfolio.
They are part of Edinburgh-based Crerar Hotel Group (CHG), which also owns the Deeside Inn at Ballater, Glencoe Inn and Gathering in Glencoe, Golf View Hotel and Spa in Nairn, Isle of Mull Hotel and Spa in Craignure, Loch Fyne Hotel and Spa in Inveraray, Oban Bay Hotel and Spa and Thainstone House, near Inverurie.
Mr Crerar said the uncertainty of how Brexit will affect recruitment, employee retention and access to finance only strengthened the case for slimming down the portfolio and focusing on the top end of the market.
It also comes as a growing number of people from emerging tourism markets, particularly Asia, choose Scottish holidays.
He added: “We have no idea how Brexit will impact on lenders’ appetite, but want to be able to invest in our very best hotels without restriction.
“Once we have completed our investment plans we will then look at potentially adding more hotels.”
Mr Crerar, 50, said the firm also needed to invest in the next generation of hotel management, supported by “old dogs like me as backup”.
In 2017, CHG struck a deal to sell all its hotels to Fico Castle – a UK subsidiary of Thai company Fico Corporation.
However, the sale fell through, with CHG breaking off talks because of “Fico Castle’s failure to deliver to contract”.
Julian Troup, head of UK hotels agency at Colliers International, which is marketing the three hotels, said: “Consideration may be given by our client to individual disposals based on the level of offer and deliverability being at an attractive level.”
The hotels are expected to generate net turnover of more than of £4.1m during the year to March 2020. Colliers said there was scope for further revenue and profits growth.