One of the south coast's flagship hotels has been sold for almost £40 million.

London-based investment firm Topland Group has snapped up the Brighton Hilton Metropole, the city's largest conference hotel.

The Royal Bank of Scotland yesterday announced it had sold the operating lease of the Metropole for £39.3 million.

Topland, one of the country's largest privately owned international investment groups, will pay a turnover-based rent - meaning the firm will pay more the more successful the hotel is.

A spokesman for the Royal Bank of Scotland said within four days of Topland being selected by the bank contracts were exchanged and completion came just three days later.

Clive Bush, from Topland, said: “The property offers a medium term secure income stream but with longer term development potential and is typical of the type of investments which we are seeking.”

The company said it was looking to purchase further properties in the coming months.

Earlier this year private property group the Marcus Cooper Group announced that it had bought the Metropole as part of a four-hotel package worth close to £100 million.

However this deal did not go through.

The Marcus Cooper Group was unavailable for comment last night.

Guy Hilton, the general manager at the Metropole, said it was business as usual.

He said: “As far as our guests are concerned, nothing will change. We will continue to offer a first-class service under the Hilton brand.”

RBS, which is 83% owned by the taxpayer, previously owned a raft of Hilton hotels within its property portfolio, which are leased to the Hilton chain.

It has two Hiltons remaining after selling off six recently.

The bank recently reported annual figures showing it remained in the red last year, but slashed losses to £1.1 billion from £3.6 billion in 2009.