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Blackstone Pays $948M for Mint Hotels

Blackstone is paying a reported 600 million pounds ($948.4 million) for European hotel chain Mint. Blackstone, which owns the Hilton Worldwide chain, will take over Mint’s eight 4-star hotels, which are based in the UK and Amsterdam, Reuters reported.

(Reuters) – U.S. private equity group Blackstone has bought European hotel chain Mint for a reported 600 million pounds ($948.4 million) in one of the biggest deals for the region’s hotel industry, with rivals also planning expansion.

Blackstone, owner of the hotel chain Hilton Worldwide, will take over Mint’s eight four-star hotels, seven of which are in the UK and one in Amsterdam, it said in a statement on Friday.

Mint, which was founded in 1995 as City Inn and rebranded last year, was put up for sale by Lloyds Banking Group and the hotel chain’s co-founder, David Orr, in January.

On Sept. 13, UK budget hotel group Travelodge said it would announce plans over the next few months for a major expansion in continental Europe, with analysts picking Germany, Netherlands, Scandinavia and Italy as suitable markets.

Also on Sept. 13, Europe’s largest hotel group, Accor, said it would be net debt free at end-2011 and would use its cash to renovate and expand its network.

($1 = 0.633 British Pounds)

(Editing by Andrew Macdonald)

(Reporting by Brenda Goh)