Mint Hotel considers sale as it looks at Europe expansion

The company behind one of Yorkshire's best-known luxury hotels is considering a sale just two months after carrying out a major re-branding.

Mint Hotel, the group behind the waterside hotel of the same name in Leeds, said it had appointed advisers to help it find a "new partner" in order to grow across Europe.

The ownership of Mint, which changed its name from City Inn in November, is split about equally between the Orr Family and Donald Macdonald, and Uberior Ventures, the HBOS investment vehicle, now part of Lloyds.

The 333-bedroom Mint Hotel Leeds opened as City Inn in summer 2009 and the group also has properties in Bristol, Glasgow, Birmingham, Westminster and Manchester. It opened a second London property of 583 rooms near the Tower of London, in Pepys Street, in December. It is also expanding overseas with a hotel of 553 rooms, which is opening in Amsterdam in the spring.

David Orr, chief executive and co-founder, said: "We have exciting plans for our business. The strength of the business model has proved its value as we have continued to grow and performed well through the economic cycle.

"With the expected completion of our Amsterdam hotel we believe it is the right time to take advantage of the significant opportunities we have to roll out the Mint brand across Europe."

It is understood that Mint sees any sale price as well above the 550m reported elsewhere yesterday and sources indicated the review had not been driven by Lloyds.

City Inn was founded in 1995 by a management team that included Sandy Orr and David Orr.

Lloyds, which declined to comment, inherited several stakes in the hospitality sector when it took over HBOS at the height of the financial crisis in a much-criticised deal.