• RREEF takes Four Pillars

RREEF, the property investment wing of Deutsche Bank, has bought the privately-held UK provincial player Four Pillars for a rumoured £121m.

The five-strong Four Pillars appealed to RREEF due to its stable provincial positioning. And there is a fledgling buy-to-let hotel room business based at its Cotswold Water Park resort site, the first such scheme in the UK to start outside of London.

RREEF chief executive Alistair Dixon said both acquisitions and new builds were on the agenda. A joint venture vehicle has been established with the original four founding shareholders of Four Pillars to identify potential sites.

The CEO of the new venture will be Charles Holmes, the current head of Four Pillars. He will be joined by Brian Murtagh, who founded Four Pillars in 1973, developer Peter Morris and builder Jon Ede in the new JV with RREEF.

A site for the first hotel in the JV, in Harwell, Oxfordshire, has already been identified.

RREEF earlier this year bought a caravan park in Essex and this month has bought Cypriot developer Lanitis in a Eu126m deal. The main asset of Lanitis is the Aphrodite Hills resort which includes a property operated under the InterContinental brand.

The extent of RREEF’s interest in Four Pillars’ Cotswold Water Park buy-to-let holiday apartment scheme is unclear. The 31 apartments being sold are part of a development that features a 220-room hotel, spa and conference centre.

But RREEF would have no doubt been impressed by the success of Dawnay, Day’s Paramount Hotels venture which completed the lease deal with Spanish chain Barcelo earlier this month.

Last week, Dawnay Shore Hotels, the Paramount owner, reported an operating profit of £6.38m for the 26 weeks to July 1, down from £7.16m for the first 26 weeks of 2006. Hotel EBITDA was up 0.6% to £15.7m thanks to revpar up 1.2% to £47.69.

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