Marylebone Warwick Balfour is to put the Hotel du Vin and Malmaison hotel chains up for sale for £700m today after deciding to pursue an outright sale of its hotel business. The Times

The decision is a surprise because only two weeks ago the company announced that it had retained Bank of America to advise it on a £450m-plus sale of the property assets while retaining operational control.

The sale package will comprise 19 hotels that are trading – 10 Malmaisons and nine Hotel du Vin properties – as well as a pipeline of seven hotels that are due to open by the end of next year.

A source said: ‘Following the appointment of Bank of America to sell just the assets, we’ve been swamped with interest from people wanting to buy the whole lot.’