Hotel administrators likely to announce more sales

IPSWICH: The administrators of the Elizabeth Hotels chain owned by property entrepreneur Richard Cattermole are said to be near to completing the sale of several more of its properties.

Two hotels have already been sold since the appointment of the administrators in December – the Humber Crown near Hull and the Humber Royal in Grimsby – and the agents appointed to market the remaining properties are hopeful of clinching further sales.

Peter Brunt, head of insolvency sales at Colliers Robert Barry, which the administrators from KPMG have brought to handle the sale of the hotels, said: “We are still in negotiations with a number of interested parties regarding the remaining hotels and are confident that sales will follow shortly.

“The portfolio contains some impressive hotels which has been reflected in the fact that a number of the parties that we are in discussions with are very experienced players in the hotel and leisure industry. We are confident that once sales have been completed the hotels will go from strength to strength.”

James Williamson, director at GVA Grimley, which is handling the sale of pubs involved in the administration, added: “A significant number of offers have been received for the pub portfolio, which are currently under review by the joint administrators and GVA Grimley.

“Negotiations with the interested parties remain ongoing and it is envisaged that sales will start to take place during the next couple of months.”

Allan Graham and Jane Moriarty of KPMG were appointed shortly before Christmas as joint administrators of three businesses forming part of the Ryan Elizabeth Holdings group owned by Mr Cattermole.

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The businesses in administration are Elizabeth Hotels Ltd, Cavendish Hotels Ltd and Elizabeth Estates (BS) Ltd. Between them, they operated a total of 11 hotels and 13 pubs.

The hotels for sale, which the administrators are continuing to trade as going concerns, include the Hotel Elizabeth Copdock, near Ipswich, the Mill Hotel in Sudbury, the Limes Hotel in Needham Market, the Rose and Crown, Haverhill, and Hotel Hatfield, Lowestoft.

Pubs affected include the Cock Inn at Polstead, near Hadleigh, the Three Tuns, Needham Market, the White Hart, Boxford, near Sudbury, the Five Bells at Rattlesden, near Bury St Edmunds, the Plough at Peldon, near Colchester, and the Globe, Harwich.

The administrators were appointed at the request of the Lloyds Banking Group.

Ryan Elizabeth Holdings and around 30 other subsidiaries are not in administration. These businesses include the company’s flagship Hotel Elizabeth Orwell in Felixstowe.