Reports that Morgans Hotel Group, the New York listed boutique hotelier, is being pursued by two separate Middle Eastern sovereign wealth funds demonstrate the increasing appeal of chain of so-called lifestyle hotels.
The news has perhaps encouraged Marylebone Warwick Balfour to try its luck a third time in unloading its Malmaison and Hotel du Vin chains.
Morgans, which was founded by Ian Schrager, has attracted interest from Zabeel, a Dubai-based fund, and Mubadala, a fund from Abu Dhabi, according to the Times newspaper in London which said an enterprise value of $1.4bn had been placed on the company.
Citigroup projects EBITDA of $95m for this year, giving a multiple of 14.7 times if the enterprise valuation in the report proves accurate.
Meanwhile, MWB is seeking more than £650m for Malmaison and Hotel du Vin, this time breaking the chain into its two respective brands, with Malmaison going for slightly more at £350m.
The chains have been growing – this month Christie & Co sold Hotel du Vin a Canterbury hotel and three properties under the brand are opening this year- but even so the valuation looks rich.