- Thistle Hotels
company_name = Thistle Hotels
company_type = Private
Tim Scoble CEO Quek Leng ChanChairman
Steve Bailey CFO
revenue = £287m (2004)
parent = [http://www.bilgroup.com BIL International Ltd]
homepage = http://www.thistlehotels.com
Thistle Hotels is a UK-based hotel company with a portfolio of forty one hotels, operating in the three and four star sector. It is the sixth largest hotel chain in the UK by bedroom numbers (10,000), but the largest hotel chain in London. It has six hotels in
Scotland(three in Aberdeen, and one each in Edinburgh, Glasgowand Inverness) and one in Wales( Cardiff).
It was set up by
Scottish & Newcastlein 1965, to combine its own traditional legacy hotels with purpose built hotels. Mount Charlotte Investments bought thirty four Thistle hotels from S&N, and acquired the Thistle brand name for £645m in November 1989. Debt acquired from the transaction surrogated Mount Charlotte Investments with no choice but to be taken over by Brierley Investments of New Zealandfor £664m in 1990.
In 1997, the company floated on the Stock Exchange, to become Thistle Hotels plc, valued at £620m. In September 1998, it sold 30 provincial hotels to Grace Hotels (owned by the
Lehman Brothersinvestment bank) for £62.7m, becoming managed by Peel Hotels. In July 1999, it sold the Charles Dickens Hotel in London to the [http://www.gresham-hotels.com Ryan Hotel Group] for £20m. In June 2002, it initially sold 37 of its hotels to Orb Estates of Jerseyfor £598m, continuing to manage the propeties, but the hotels are eventually sold to Atlantic Hotels for £700m and being operated under the Thistle name. In June 2003, the company was bought for £627m by BIL International, a private equity company based in Singaporeowned by the Hong Leong Groupand the majority shareholder since 1990. BIL is actually, for accountancy purposes, registered in Bermuda. Thistle Hotels was delisted from the London Stock Exchange. In 2004, it opened its Cumberland Hotel in London after a £95 million renovation, which operated under the [http://www.guoman.com Guoman] deluxe brand. In May 2005, it sold six hotels to the [http://www.topland.co.uk Topland Group] under a leasebackdeal for £185m.
It used to be based on "The Calls" in
Leeds, then moved to Uxbridge.
In 2004, budget hotel company Travelodge bought two Thistle Hotels in
Thistle Hotels is currently under going a re-branding in order to maintain consistency across the group.
Thistle Cardiff The Parc has now re-opened after being closed for 17 months due to fire and has been refurbished throughout
The CEO, Tim Scoble, was the CEO of
Little Cheffor two years from 2004-6.
It operates three luxury hotels in London under this brand, namely the
Thistle Tower Hoteland the [http://www.guoman.com/guoman/hotels/hotelFinder/viewHotel.do?hotelID=gu-cumberland Cumberland Hotel] in Marble Archand the Thistle Charing Cross. The Royal Horseguards, Thistle Victoria and the Thistle Marble Arch hotels are planned to be converted to the exclusive brand.
* [http://www.thistle.com Thistle Hotels]
* [http://www.guoman.com Guoman Hotels]
* [http://www.dooyoo.co.uk/hotels-national/thistle-hotels-in-general/reviews Review at DooYoo]
* [http://travel.ciao.co.uk/Thistle_Euston_London__6267335 Two reviews of the Thistle Euston at Ciao!]
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/south_east/6216937.stm Thistle Cardiff damaged by an arson attack in December 2006]
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/1854123.stm Tourism downturn hits Thistle Hotels in 2002]
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