Harrogate company Principal Hotels was bought by private equity firm Starwood Capital in 2013 for a reported £360m. The following year, Starwood also acquired the De Vere Venues and Four Pillars businesses for a reported £320m, integrating them into one group with one management team, led by chief executive Tony Troy, 53. The Russell London, The George in Edinburgh and The Royal York are three of the group’s hotels undergoing significant refurbishment. In 2014, operating profit of the combined business was £62.1m.
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