AHC Preview: Inside Pandox's 'ambitious' UK strategy

Between 11 and 12 September, more than 1,000 senior representatives from across the UK hospitality industry will head to Manchester for the Annual Hotel Conference (AHC).

This year’s speakers include: broadcaster and chef patron at La Gavroche Michel Roux Jr as well as senior representatives from Blackstone, Whitbread, KSL Capital Partners, and more.

The following interview is part of a series aimed at bringing you a flavour of the conversations you can expect on stage, highlighting some of the big-picture trends and themes ahead of the event.

Register now to make sure you don’t miss out.

Over the last couple of years Stockholm-based Pandox has been one of the biggest investors with a series of strategic deals across the country, including the Queens Hotel in Leeds and the Hilton Belfast.

Ahead of his appearance at this year's AHC we recently caught up with Martin Creydt, senior vice president and director of property management international at Pandox, to discuss the company's outlook and plans.

Hospitality Investor: How have Pandox's property management plans developed over the past year?

Martin Creydt

Martin Creydt: Well, in the light of the post-corona effects, relatively well. We’ve started some exciting refurbishment projects in Glasgow and Galway with our strategic strong partner and tenant Leonardo UK & Ireland. We’ve also acquired two properties in Leeds and Belfast. 

Hospitality Investor: Are you still bullish on the UK market. How has the performance been across the country?

Martin Creydt: I would not say bullish, rather ambitious. Regional UK has recovered fantastically well after Corona so we are eager to find more investment opportunities in our existing portfolio or buying new properties with long term ownership. 

Hospitality Investor: The transaction market has been pretty sluggish. How has Pandox adapted to this?

Martin Creydt: Pandox has always been proactive and flexible in a dynamic landscape like hospitality sector. We’re always keen to find opportunities if we can bring value to the investment (value add). We know the business by heart and together with strong partners we can find quick and creative solutions, also when it’s now more rough waters and head wind. 

Hospitality Investor: You're speaking on our Driving Alpha panel. Are there any asset management success stories you can share?

Martin Creydt: I’m extra proud of an investment we did at Hilton Garden Inn at Heathrow Airport, just before Corona arrived. Timing is everything. In such a turbulent period it was very good to have a renovated hotel and the hotel was one of very few which was open at Heathrow and could cater very successfully. 

Hospitality Investor: The theme of this year's event is ‘Adapt to Thrive’, can you give me one example in your business or otherwise, where a new and innovate strategy has been implemented to capitalise on an emerging market opportunity?

Martin Creydt: I would say our team as such is super focused on hotels in the upper mid and full-service market. We have done the same thing for 25 years and will do it the next 25 years. The business model is to lease out when we choose not to operate by ourselves. The message is well proven - stay what you are good at and do more of it. A strategy which at least has helped Pandox to grow from a handful of hotel properties to today’s 158 properties. 

Martin Creydt will be speaking on a panel entitled: Driving Alpha: Enhancing Asset Output at this year's AHC.

Stay tuned for more preview interviews and if you still haven’t registered yet, you can do so here. You can also view the latest programme, here.