RBS sells Brighton seafront hotel for £39m

Brighton Hilton Metropole
Image caption Brighton's Hilton Metropole's guests have included Sir Winston Churchill

A landmark Brighton hotel has been sold for £39.3m as part of a sell-off of assets by the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Britain's biggest residential conference centre, the 340-room Hilton Metropole, has been bought by investment company Topland Group.

The seafront hotel, built in 1890, is next to the Grand, bombed by the IRA in 1984 during the Tory Party Conference.

Many survivors of the bombing were sent to the Metropole, which then also had to be evacuated after a bomb scare.

The part-nationalised bank recently sold London hotels the Grosvenor House and the Cumberland as part of a drive to dispose of assets.

Royal Bank of Scotland, 83% owned by the taxpayer, made losses of £1.1bn last year and £3.6bn in 2009.

It is also selling its insurance division, which includes Direct Line and Churchill and hopes to sell RBS Insurance in 2012.

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