M&C pays $30m for Beatles theme hotel

Hard Days Night Hotel is a heritage building dating back to 1884 and named after the Beatles' hit song and film of the same name. It is located near some famous landmarks linked to the band.
Hard Days Night Hotel is a heritage building dating back to 1884 and named after the Beatles' hit song and film of the same name. It is located near some famous landmarks linked to the band.PHOTO: MILLENNIUM & COPTHORNE HOTELS

Hong Leong's London-listed unit posts 22% rise in net profit for Q2

Millennium & Copthorne (M&C) Hotels, a unit of Hong Leong Group, is buying the Beatles-inspired Hard Days Night Hotel in Liverpool, the famous pop group's hometown.

M&C is acquiring the roughly 113 years left on the hotel's lease for £13.8 million (S$30 million), subject to standard purchase price adjustments, it said yesterday.

The hotel was established in 2008 and has 110 guest rooms and suites, including the McCartney and Lennon suites. It marks M&C's 24th property in Britain and Europe.

Hard Days Night Hotel is a heritage building dating back to 1884 and named after the Beatles' hit song and film of the same name. It is next to the Cavern Club, where the Beatles rose to fame, and near some famous landmarks of the band.

The deal is set for completion by Aug 19, the company said.

"This unique acquisition, which will be supported by M&C's existing management infrastructure, further expands the group's hotel portfolio to one of the leading leisure and business destinations in the UK," said M&C chairman Kwek Leng Beng. "The city is undergoing an economic regeneration and we are proud to be a part of that."

Displayed throughout the hotel is Beatles artwork , including by Klaus Voormann, a session musician who recorded with the Beatles and designed the cover of their album Revolver.

It is not the first time Mr Kwek, also City Developments' executive chairman, has been linked to a Beatles deal. CDL entered into a conditional sale and purchase contract last year to acquire Teddington Studios in south-west London, where the Beatles performed their first British No. 1 hit Please Please Me.

Yesterday's announcement came on the back of positive results for the second quarter.

The London-listed M&C late last month posted a 2.8 per cent year on year rise in revenue per available room (RevPar) to £74.91 for the period.

This was as RevPar at its US hotels rose 13.2 per cent to £87.12 - reflecting the contribution of Novotel Times Square and growth in the US region - and that at its Australasia hotels rose 6.8 per cent to £35.78, with higher occupancy and average room rates.

However, RevPar across its Asia hotels fell 7.7 per cent to £64.89 due to general market softness, while that in Europe was down 0.7 per cent to £84.92, mainly due to lower RevPar at Millennium Bailey's Hotel London, which started refurbishing guestrooms at the end of last year.

For the first half-year, group RevPar was 4 per cent higher year on year at £68.28.

Net profit was up 22 per cent for the quarter to £28 million and up 20 per cent to £36 million for the first half-year.

The group's pipeline at end June is 19 hotels with 6,345 rooms, mainly properties to be operated under management contract, it said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 12, 2015, with the headline 'M&C pays $30m for Beatles theme hotel'. Print Edition | Subscribe