Strategic approaches Nomura

US investor Strategic Hotel Capital has reportedly approached Nomura about some of the Le Méridien assets it is buying from UK group Compass.

US investor Strategic Hotel Capital has its eye on some of the Le Méridien hotels Nomura is buying from UK hotel group Compass.

The American investment fund has contacted Nomura about a possible deal for some of the Le Méridien assets, according to the Financial Times. But a source close to Nomura said no discussions were taking place.

Strategic had previously made an agreement to expand in Europe in conjunction with Marriott International. It already owns several Marriott hotels. But Nomura beat Marriott in the chase for Le Méridien after a seven-month auction process.

Nomura trumped Marriott with a £1.85bn bid for the hotels and has said it plans to retain the 40 owned and 85 managed hotels.

When the auction began, analysts predicted the 146-strong group of hotels to fetch as much as £2.2bn, but worsening market conditions soon put downward pressure on the price and Marriott’s bid came to a mere £1.7bn.

Strategic prefers to buy hotels under long-term management as they are generally up to a fifth cheaper than independent hotels. The company was founded by Laurence Geller in 1997 and has spent $2.75bn building up a portfolio of 30 hotels, mostly in the US. It has about $1bn to spend.