The Barclay brothers have reportedly been considering the sale of The Ritz Club in London. The Times reported today that the businessmen have appointed gaming advisory boutique Oakvale Capital to run the sale process on their behalf.
The two brothers have declined to comment on the matter. However, it has been understood that they have been approached by Far East interested parties with offers for the popular gambling venue. It is believed that The Ritz Club has been valued at around £200 million.
The gaming venue is part of The Ritz London, the luxury five-star hotel resort in London’s Piccadilly. The hotel is too owned and operated by Sir Frederick and Sir David Barclay. The twins purchased The Ritz complex back in 1995.
In 1998, the gaming portion of the property was leased to London Clubs International. It is interesting to note that The Ritz Club, which is located in the basement of The Ritz Hotel, has existed in one form or another since 1906. Previously, it served as a ballroom, a bar and grill, and an entertainment venue. It was launched as a casino in 1977, after undergoing refurbishment and having its former 1906 Louis XVI style restored. Over the years, it has become a popular spot for high roller players.
Reportedly, the Barclays, who are also the owners of the Telegraph newspaper group, are selling the gaming property with a lease to 2033. The Ritz Club generated revenue of £33 million last year, making a pre-tax profit of nearly £9 million.
This is not the first time that the Barclays are considering sale of their Ritz business. Back in 2011, the businessmen revealed that they had received several takeover offers for their Ritz Hotel. The property was valued at £625 million back then.
However, real estate agents speculated that the Barclays were not likely to sell the businesses and that they were probably seeking to refinance it by advertising for offers. The Ritz had outstanding debt of around £150 million at the time, its accounts showed.
Possible Reasons Behind The Ritz Club’s Potential Sale
The Barclays’ decision to seek buyers for their gambling venue may have been influenced by the recent sale of another emblematic London-based gaming club. Earlier this year, Landing International Development sold Les Ambassadeurs Casino in Mayfair to Hong Kong businessman Paul Suen Cho Hung, who also owns football club Birmingham City. The popular gaming facility was sold for £240 million.
Here it is interesting to note that Landing bought the casino back in 2015 for the amount of £137 million. There is a clear demand from Far East investors and the Barclays may be looking to replicate the Les Ambassadeurs Casino deal by selling their Ritz Club at a profit.
Robert Johnson is an experienced web author and blogger. He has over three years of experience as a freelance journalist and writer.