Famous Queens Hotel in Leeds sold to major European operator for £53m

A famous Yorkshire hotel which has welcomed film stars and royalty has gained a new owner.

Aprirose, the real estate investment company, has sold The Queens Hotel in Leeds to Pandox, which is a major owner of hotel properties in Northern Europe.

In a statement, Pandox said: “Pandox AB (publ) has acquired and gained access to The Queens Hotel in central Leeds.

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"The acquisition includes both the hotel property and the hotel operations.

The Queens Hotel, LeedsThe Queens Hotel, Leeds
The Queens Hotel, Leeds

"The hotel has 232 rooms and will be operated as an independent brand under a new management agreement with Axiom Hospitality. The total acquisition price amounts to approximately MGBP 53 (£53m) with an expected stabilised yield of more than 9 percent.”

Liia Nõu, the chief executive of Pandox, said: "We are pleased to acquire the iconic and market leading The Queens Hotel in central Leeds. The hotel is located next to the city’s largest square and the central station, attracting both leisure and business travellers.

"The hotel is in very good condition after a newly completed renovation.

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"The transaction is made at an attractive yield, and we see good potential to further increase the hotel’s return over time through active measures in operation, organization and product offering.”

The statement added: “In recent years, The Queens Hotel has undergone a substantial renovation and upgrade of all rooms, public areas, restaurant and bar, and the hotel is in a strong position in its market. The hotel will be reported under the business segment ‘Operator Activities’.

"The acquisition will initially be financed by existing liquid funds and credit facilities. The seller is Aprirose Ltd.”

Pandox is a major owner of hotel properties in Northern Europe with a focus on sizeable hotels in key leisure and corporate destinations. Pandox’s hotel property portfolio comprises 157 hotels with around 35,500 hotel rooms in 15 countries.

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In its statement, Pandox highlighted the fact that around 25m people visit Leeds every year for business and leisure.

Pandox’s business is organised into property management, which comprises hotel properties leased on a long-term basis to market leading regional hotel operators and international hotel operators, and Operator activities, which comprises hotel operations executed by Pandox in its owner-occupied hotel properties.

Pandox was founded in 1995 and the company’s B shares are listed on Nasdaq Stockholm.

The Queens Hotel has been a landmark at the heart of Leeds city centre since its official opening in 1937. The hotel was thought to be the first ever hotel with en-suite facilities, which made it one of the most luxurious and expensive spots to stay in the 1930s.

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It has welcomed major figures from the worlds of business, politics and the arts. Famous people who have stayed at the hotel include Laurel and Hardy, who stayed there on three of their four British tours, and Nelson Mandela, who visited Leeds in April 2001.

Prince Rainier and Princess Grace of Monaco, otherwise known as the film star Grace Kelly, also visited Leeds in 1972 and stayed at the Queens Hotel.