Le Meridien Hotels and Resorts has been bought, sold, demerged and merged over the past decade. It is now majority owned by Terra Firma after becoming an independent group in 2001. The chain comprises more than 130 hotels in 56 countries. Terrorism, Sars and the Iraq war have since combined to hit the company’s finances hard and in January Lehman Brothers acquired the whole of the senior debt in an effort to protect its £200m investment in the 2001 deal. Sales, including management fees from franchised hotels, totalled £591m in 2003.
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