Travelodge has confirmed it is going ahead with a controversial plan to slash costs and protect the jobs of its 10,000 staff.
The budget hotel chain, whose backers include Goldman Sachs, will use an insolvency procedure known as a company voluntary agreement (CVA) to cut rents.
All its hotels have been closed since March, and will not open until July 4 at the earliest.
Travelodge, whose backers include Goldman Sachs, will use an insolvency procedure known as a company voluntary agreement to cut rents
The proposal, which would see its 560 hotels return to full rent in 2022, is 'a critical component of the recovery plan', it said.
But landlords, some of whom are small private investors, say bosses are using the coronavirus as cover for the move.
Travelodge has refused to pay rent for the first three months of the year, and claims it could lose £350million in revenue this year.
But the Travelodge Owners Action Group, whose members own 400 sites, said: 'The tenants are multi-billion-dollar offshore hedge funds and landlords are, for example, pensioners.'
Travelodge, which is backed by hedge funds, also announced £240million of shareholder support.
The CVA must win the support of 75 per cent of creditors to go ahead.