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|Headquarters||Uxbridge, England, UK|
|Neil Gallagher CEO
Quek Leng Chan Chairman
Peter Herbet CFO
|Parent||Guoman Hotel Management (UK) Limited|
It was set up by Scottish & Newcastle in 1965, to combine its own traditional legacy hotels with purpose built hotels. Mount Charlotte Investments bought thirty four Thistle hotels from S&N, and acquired the Thistle brand name for £645m in November 1989. During the subsequent recession, the debt taken on to fund the transaction became unsustainable, resulting in Mount Charlotte being taken over by Brierley Investments of New Zealand for £664m in 1990.
The chain was the main shirt sponsor for Leeds United AFC from 1993 to 1996.
In 1997, the company floated on the Stock Exchange, to become Thistle Hotels plc, valued at £620m. In September 1998, it sold 30 provincial hotels to Grace Hotels (owned by the Lehman Brothers investment bank) for £62.7m, becoming managed by Peel Hotels. In July 1999, it sold the Charles Dickens Hotel in London to the Ryan Hotel Group for £20m. In June 2002, it initially sold 37 of its hotels to Orb Estates of Jersey for £598m, continuing to manage the properties, but the hotels are eventually sold to Atlantic Hotels for £700m and operated under the Thistle name. In June 2003, the company was bought for £627m by BIL International, a private equity company based in Singapore (but registered in Bermuda) owned by the Hong Leong Group and the majority shareholder since 1990. Thistle Hotels was delisted from the London Stock Exchange. In 2004, it opened its Cumberland Hotel in London after a £95 million renovation, which operated under the Guoman brand. In May 2005, it sold six hotels to the Topland Group under a leaseback deal for £185m.
In 2008, Thistle Hotels announced that it is currently undergoing a re-branding of £100 million in order to maintain consistency across the group.
Thistle Cardiff the Parc reopened in September 2008 after being closed for 17 months due to fire and has been refurbished throughout. The hotel underwent a £15m transformation.
In 2015, the managed part of the estate was sold by its owners CIT Holdings Ltd. glh. was unsuccessful in its bid, meaning the majority of the provincial estate changed management, being run by Accor hotels.
In 2015, glh Hotels announced new brand Thistle Express. Seen as the next generation of Thistle hotels, Thistle Express Luton opened in July 2017 with Thistle Express Swindon due to open a month later.
Presence in London
Thistle operates five luxury hotels in London under the Guoman brand, namely the Tower Hotel, the Cumberland Hotel, the Charing Cross, the Royal Horseguards, the Grosvenor (formally Thistle Victoria).
The CEO was Tim Scoble until 2012, he was the CEO of Little Chef for two years from 2004-6. He was succeeded by Mike De Noma who was CEO from 2012 - 2016. The current CEO is Neil Gallagher who took over the role in June 2016.
- http://www.thistle.com/. Missing or empty
- http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/south_east/6216937.stm. Missing or empty
- http://www.glhhotels.com/press/press-releases/glh-ceases-management-of-cit-estate/. Missing or empty
- http://www.headforpoints.com/2015/06/17/thistle-quietly-losing-more-than-half-its-hotels-on-july-31st/. Missing or empty
- http://www.guoman.com/en/london/the-grosvenor/location-and-contact.html. Missing or empty
- "Press Release". glh Hotels.
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