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Principle Hotels Acquires Hayley Conference Centres

25 May 2007: Principal Hotels, a company owned by the Permira Funds, (“Permira”) today announced the acquisition of Hayley Conference Centres (“Hayley”) from its founding management team, which is led by Alan English and Norman Bellone, and 3i.

Hayley Conference Centres offer unique “stately-home” type properties which complement Principal Hotels’ existing portfolio. Seen as leaders in the conference and training market, the eight Hayley Conference Centres are renowned for exceptional levels of service and will provide an excellent geographic fit to the Principal Hotels portfolio. There is a further Hayley Conference Centre under construction near Paris which will be opened in 2008.

The combination of Principal Hotels and Hayley offers two distinct brands with an “a la carte” selection of Hotels and Conference centres. The combined group has a total of 17 sites offering 3,000 bedrooms with the potential to develop an additional 500 rooms. The 400 meeting rooms across the two businesses have the capacity to serve in excess of 20,000 daily conference delegates. Tony Troy, CEO of Principal Hotels, said “We are delighted with the acquisition of Hayley. Hayley is a highly respected brand in the conference and meetings
industry. The combined group offers two distinct brands of hotels and conference centres in strategically important locations. The development of Château de Saint Just near Paris will also allow us a platform for growth into Europe.”

Martin Clarke, Partner at Permira commented, “The acquisition of Hayley Conference Centres demonstrates Permira’s support of the buy and build strategy for Principal Hotels in the UK and Europe and is part of an ongoing acquisition strategy designed to create one of the UK’s leading hotel groups”. Richard Bishop, partner at 3i commented "This is a very successful outcome to a long partnership between Hayley and 3i. We originally backed the start up of Hayley then reinvested in 2005 to support the international growth strategy.”

Over the past 16 years Hayley has become renowned for providing exceptional standards of venues and service to the business market. The acquisition of Hayley by Principal Hotels will strengthen this brand further and improve the offering to Hayley’s customers and the customers of Principal Hotels. In doing so, it will strengthen the brand and market share for both companies. As part of its growth strategy, Principal Hotels has also recently acquired St.David’s Hotel & Spa in Cardiff and Hawkstone Park and Golf Club in Shropshire.

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