Chief executive Richard Balfour-Lynn formed the Alternative Hotel Group in 2005 with bank funding, buying Rentokil’s conference facilities for £325m and the De Vere hotel chain for £1.1 billion. Last year, it was refinanced by Lloyds Banking Group through an estimated £650m debt-for-equity swap. Rebranding itself as the De Vere Group this year, its estate comprises 13 high-end hotels, 26 budget hotels and 29 conference venues, in addition to its Greens fitness centres. As part of an effort to concentrate on its core activities, the company sold the gin and vodka distiller G&J Greenall for £7.5m in August. Pro forma sales fell slightly to £453.7m in 2010, but operating profit increased to £44.3m.
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