News Tourism & Hospitality

Leumi UK lends £34m to upgrade Oxford Circus hotel


Specialist lender Leumi UK has agreed to lend £34m to finance the acquisition of the leasehold interest and refurbishment of an Edwardian Holiday Inn hotel, with the aim to capitalise on its premium location, minutes away from Oxford Street’s famous shops and the theatres of the West End.

The refurbishment will re-position the hotel as an upscale boutique offering, increasing the number of rooms to 171.

The move comes during a bumper year for tourism, as bookings rebound to near pre-Covid levels across Europe. Overnight stays across the EU are forecast to reach 95 per cent of 2019 levels this year, a major boost to London’s hotels which rely heavily on international tourism.

The loan is the latest in a series from Leumi UK, the UK subsidiary of Israel’s largest financial institution, and Westmont Hospitality, a part-owner of JHHL and prolific owner/operator of hotels totaling 56,000 rooms across three continents.

Soraya Shamji, hotel consultant at Leumi UK said: “The outlook for well-specced assets in central locations is positive as consumer demand and investor interest in hotels rebounds from the pandemic.

“Our strategy of supporting hotel operators during Covid-19 has proven effective and has allowed us to forge relationships with leading operators, and we’re proud that it is now leading to those same partners creating opportunities like this one.”

Stephan Jaques at Westmont Hospitality, said: “There is immense value given today’s hotel market in pivoting hotels towards a luxury offering. It was important for us to work with a financial partner with detailed knowledge of the hospitality sector, and Leumi UK have certainly delivered on that front.”

David Yeadon, executive director real estate debt advisory at SPF Private Clients, said:
“We are delighted to have provided assistance to our long-standing client in relation to the successful financing of this new London venture.

“Leumi UK’s sector expertise and relationship-focused approach has been pivotal to this project. Prime Central London hotel assets have rebounded spectacularly, and in the safe hands of Westmont Hospitality the purchase and re-positioning of this hotel is bound to be a resounding success”

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