Brewer and hospitality group JW Lees has acquired Wilmslow’s Stanneylands hotel from Mere Group, which had put it on the market through Christie & Co at £6.25m.
Mere, owned by Mark Boler and Gary Corbett, the long-term operators of the eponymous Cheshire golf and country club, bought the Stanneylands in 2015 for £4.15m and invested £1.7m in a refurbishment that saw the hotel closed to the public before reopening in April 2017.
Situated in 3.4 acres to the north of Wilmslow and close to Manchester Airport, the hotel now boasts 52 bedrooms, two dining venues and three function suites.
Lees has transformed itself from a traditional brewer into a hospitality operator of some standing, moving away from its North Manchester pub heartland to more affluent parts of the region. Its holdings include the newly refurbished Alderley Edge Hotel, the recently acquired Boddington Arms in the Ribble Valley and the Plough & Flail, Mobberley.
William Lees-Jones, sixth generation managing director of JW Lees, said: “When we saw that Stanneylands was available, we immediately knew that it would be a great asset for us to acquire and we believe that we can add value to the business by welcoming it to our growing hotels and inns business headed up by Tony Spencer.
“We now have 287 bedrooms under company management across 12 sites and our hotels and inns division is an increasingly important part of our business.”
Ryan Lynn, director at Christie & Co’s Manchester office, said: “We were very happy to work with the Mere Group to sell Stanneylands and found JW Lees to be a great and straightforward buyer to deal with.
“From the start, the hotel was marketed on a very confidential basis with a view to maximise the sale price, but also with a goal to achieve a quick deal. With a fast and effective marketing campaign, we introduced several buyers, received multiple bids and completed on the deal within a couple of months.”
Boler and Corbett sold their interest in the Mere in January to Gulf investor Ejarat Holdings, although they remain as non-executive director and chief executive respectively.