• MWB quits pure hotel owning for lifestyle

Marylebone Warwick Balfour is to complete its exit from its pure hotel ownership business with the marketing of the Marriott West India Quay in London's Canary Wharf for around £110m.

The company, whose hotel interest will now focus on the lifestyle brands Malmaison and Hotel du Vin, last week sold the London Marriott Hotel in Park Lane for £105m to Middle Eastern investors, believed to be connected to the Bahraini royal family.

The West India Quay property has been brought to market after it was the centre of a controversy involving soccer team Tottenham Hotspur. About 10 of the Spurs players went down with a sickness which was seen as contributing to their loss during the vital last match of the season.

The incident was initially blamed on food poisoning at the hotel and lawsuits for up to £10m were mooted as the club attempted to recover its lost earnings as a result of missing out on qualification for the Champions League. But health inspectors have now cleared the hotel of any wrongdoing, blaming Norovirus, a viral form of gastroenteritis.

The sale of the Park Lane Marriott, marketed by agent Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels, follows the disposal of the Radisson SAS in Glasgow for £52.5m in November 2005 and the Howard in London for £75m a year earlier.

Assuming West India Quay fetches its anticipated price, MWB will have netted £340m in hotel disposals in less than two years.

The 157-room Park Lane Marriott was owned 70% by MWB and 30% by the Sincere Company of Hong Kong. It generated a net operating profit of £5m in 2005. Marriott has a 35-year management agreement that started in 2002.

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