ISRAEL’S biggest hotel management chain, Fattal, is behind the acquisition of five Scottish hotels which will be added to the German-based Leonardo range.

Founded in 1998 by entrepreneur David Fattal, the eponymous hotel chain is the largest hospitality organisation in his native country.

It has also expanded rapidly outside Israel so that Fattal Hotel Management now has 113 hotels of which 80 are in Europe, owned by Fattal Properties Europe.

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The Scottish hotels bought by Fattal were owned by Portland Hotels. They are the Pond Hotel in Glasgow, the Edinburgh City Hotel, the Edinburgh Capital, the Huntingtower Hotel in Perth and the The Speedbird Inn at Aberdeen Airport.

In total, the hotels have more than 500 bedrooms, and will be added to the Leonardo Royal at Haymarket to give Leonardo six hotels in Scotland The Pond is a famous landmark in the West End of Glasgow close to Gartnavel Hospital, while the Speedbird Inn at Aberdeen Airport is a favourite with travellers due largely to its park, sleep and fly options.

The Edinburgh City Hotel is a 52-bedroom boutique hotel which is located at Lauriston Place near the Castle and Grassmarket.

The Edinburgh Capital is midway between the city centre and the airport.

It has 111 rooms, seven meeting rooms with a capacity of up to 320 persons, and has a popualr leisure club with a swimming pool.

The Huntingtower Hotel in Perth has 34 bedrooms in a country house setting on the west side of the city at Crieff Road.

Together with the Leonardo Hotel at London Heathrow Airport, the new Scottish hotels mean Leonardo’s portfolio in the UK will grow to seven hotels with 1048 bedrooms in total.

Scotland’s largest law firm, Brodies, represented Portland. Leonardo Hotels were advised by JLL Hotels and Hospitality Group as well as West Ridge Asset Management, French Duncan and DLA Piper.

Reports in Israel say that Fattal paid more than £40 million for the five hotels. They added that Fattal will finance 40 per cent of the deal from its own equity and 60 per cent from external financing.

Daniel Roger, managing director of Leonardo Hotels Europe, said: “When we entered the market in the UK two years ago, we made it our goal to further expand our portfolio and strengthen the name recognition of the Leonardo Hotels brand.

“The purchase of Portland Hotels underscores this.”

Fattal told an Israel-based news agency: “The purchase of the five hotels is part of our strategic plan to expand to Europe’s outstanding tourist and business destinations.

“Scotland is one of the world’s most beautiful countries and a popular tourist destination attracting hundreds of thousands of tourists annually.

“We will continue deepening our foothold in Europe through the Leonardo and NYX brands.”