Why KSL Capital Partners' sale of The Belfry could predict post-Brexit business

Five years after acquiring the property, Denver-based private-equity firm KSL Capital Partners may sell The Belfry, a golf resort in Warwickshire that has hosted the Ryder Cup four times.

According to reports, the company is seeking $234 million for the 500-acre, 324-guestroom resort. Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. has been appointed to advise on the sale.

The sale could be a sign of things to come following last year's Brexit vote. The pound's devaluation has attracted interest from international hotel investors who could see a healthy profit from favorable exchange rates and an increase in international tourism. A survey from CBRE said that the UK will be a top target for hotel investment this year. 

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The sale also makes good on predictions made this winter at Colliers International: In January, hospitality sector specialists at Colliers predicted that the UK's regional hotels market will be supported by low interest rates, the depreciated pound, solid trading, "acquisitive domestic buyers" and an increasing flow of international capital this year. 

“The UK hotel market is a consumer-driven real estate sector, so its performance is closely linked to the overall general economy,” Julian Troup, head of UK Hotels Agency at Colliers International, said at the time. “With a few new supply-driven exceptions, the UK regional market will be supported by low interest rates, solid UK trading, acquisitive domestic buyers and an increasing flow of international capital attracted, in part, by cheap sterling.”

And at IHIF earlier this year, Clive Hillier of Colliers International said that, in the wake of the Brexit vote, private equity firms would be offloading assets that they had purchased over the last few years—and that the trend would continue for a while. "The UK is a seller’s market at the moment," Dirk Bakker, head of EMEA Hotels at Colliers International, said.

Representatives from KSL and JLL declined to comment on the sale of the hotel.

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