Sunday, January 01, 2006


Acquisition of Walton Hall & Timeshare for £15m

The Hotel Corporation - the AIM quoted investment company established as a vehicle for public company investors to invest in Dawnay ShoreHotelsplc (DSH)- is pleased to announce a further acquisition of a major hotel and conference venue. DSH is the hotel group established by Dawnay, Day and Shore Capital in 2004 to build a chain of four-star hotels in the UK. DSH has a stated intention of making complementary acquisitions in the sector. The initial hotel portfolio of DSH consistsof 13 hotels, acquired as the Paramount chain in July 2004, together with 3 additional hotels acquired from subsidiary companies of Hanover International plc in January 2005. Paramount Group of Hotels is the hotels' brandname.


DSH has acquired a large existing timeshare and leisure complex, Walton Hall at Wellesbourne, near Stratford Upon Avon. Walton Hall houses 132 time-share units, whose interests have been bought out. DSH has obtained planning consent to convert the property into a high qualityfour-star country hotel and spa with around 200 rooms,substantial conference facilities, leisure and fitness. DSH will operate it as a hotel from acquisition.
The purchase consideration is£15.2 mandis to be financed from internal resources and an additional facilityfrom DSH's bank. The property has a 104 year lease with amodest ground rent.

Built in the 1860s (designed by SirGilbertScott) and situated within grounds of 65 acres, this listed property is highly complementary with DSH's existing portfolio of hotels,many of which have architectural and historical significance.

The facilities of the existing property include two restaurants, two bars,an indoorand outdoor swimming pool, 2 tennis courts a fitness and leisure club,a main event room and meeting rooms. The property currently has athriving business hosting weddings, conferences andother events.

While the existing character of the main house will be maintained, DSH proposes to upgrade the property. The works will convert the timeshare units into hotel bedrooms and, in some cases, to meeting rooms(increasing the number from 3 to 10). Subject to planning,it is also proposed to build a new 10,000 sq ft conference facility.The total cost of these works is likely to be around £10m.

Initial refurbishment is expected to start in January 2006 and the internal works should be completed by the summer of 2006, when the hotel will bere-launched with the Paramount brand of distinction. The new conference facility is expected to be completed by the summer of 2007.

DSH hasimmediate ownership of the property and will provide continuity on all existing and ongoing bookings (some existing timeshare bookings, plus events). Walton Hall is expected to contribute to DSH's operating profit from inception, although at a lower rate until the refurbishment is completed.
Charles Prew, chief executive of Paramount Hotels, said:

"This is a stunning property which I am sure is destined to become one of our flagship hotels. We remain convinced that four-star regional hotels which can offer full conference and leisure facilities will continue tobe attractive to both the corporate and leisure markets. This represents an important niche for us to occupy and build a major group of hotels."

Barclay Douglas, chairman of The Hotel Corporation, said:

"We are delighted to see that DSH has made another acquisition which looks to have the potential for a significant uplift in value."

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