After Jupiter purchase, Singha wants more UK hotels

Thailand's Singha Estate Pcl., the property arm of Singha Corporation, is reportedly in talks to buy more hotel assets in the United Kingdom, after the acquisition of U.K.-based Jupiter Hotels for £155 million. Jupiter Hotels owns and manages 26 U.K. hotels operating under the Mercure brand with a total of 2,883 rooms. It also manages another six hotels for other owners in the U.K.

Singha Estate is looking to double its revenue to more than 6 billion baht ($169 million) in 2016 as it was looking to expand through acquisitions at home and overseas, chief financial officer Methee Vinichbutr told Reuters.

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"Several operators in U.K. have approached us to sell hotel assets," Methee said, adding the company will use the Mercure brand to manage other hotels if an acquisition is concluded.

Singha's unit S Hotels and Resorts Ltd joined with Fico Holdings (UK) Ltd to set up a joint venture, FS JV Co, to acquire Jupiter Hotels from Patron Capital and its partner Royal Bank of Scotland to expand into the European hospitality market. The Thai firm received a two-year bridge loan of £120 million from Krung Thai Bank to finance the acquisition, and Singha is also considering refinancing the debt for longer terms, Methee said.

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