Celebrity-backed fund manager AAIM has teamed up with Robert Tchenguiz’s investment vehicle R20 to acquire the Menzies Hotels Group for £180m

The 15-strong chain, which is run by hotel mogul Nick Menzies, was acquired from private equity firm Nikko Principal Investments.

Attracted by the group’s property holdings and robust management team, AAIM and R20 hope to grow Menzies into the largest operator in the regional four-star hotel market. Future asset and corporate acquisitions by the joint venture, which has been named Piccadilly Hotels, are said to be in the pipeline.

AAIM group chairman, Mark Tagliaferri, said: ‘We believe hotels are very attractive real estate assets in the current market.

‘We have created a strong platform with R20 and BOS as funding partners and Nick Menzies as an operating partner to participate in the consolidation of the UK provincial four-star hotel market.’

Nick Menzies, CEO of Menzies Hotels, added: ‘I am excited to work with AAIM and R20 to grow Piccadilly Hotels. They are deep-pocketed investors who have strong knowledge of the hotel market, real estate and innovative financial structuring.’

Senior debt for the transaction was provided by Bank of Scotland Corporate and the purchaser was advised by PWC Corporate Finance.