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Bankruptcy fails to halt Kassam

01 January 2000
Bankruptcy fails to halt Kassam

Shiraz Kassam, former chairman of Baron Hotels, which collapsed in 1990 with debts of £140m, has emerged as the front man for a number of overseas investors pouring money into UK hotels.

Undaunted by bankruptcy and the fraud charges hanging over him, Mr Kassam has just negotiated a third acquisition for a group of Asian investors dealing through various off-shore companies.

Acting on behalf of a company called Keenoak Limited, Mr Kassam has this week overseen a deal to buy the 112-bedroom Heathrow Ambassador Hotel at Colnbrook, Berkshire, for a reported £2.1m.

For the past 18 months the Ambassador has been run by receivers at Stoy Hayward. Before that it was owned by Connoisseur Hotels, a private company run by a Mr and Mrs Lakhani.

In recent months, Mr Kassam has negotiated the acquisition of two other former receivership properties, Hopcrofts Holt Hotel at Steeple Aston, Oxfordshire - formerly part of Mohammed Dossa's Beaufort Palace group - and Slaley Hall hotel and leisure complex in Northumberland.

A spokesman for Adelphi Enterprises, the consortium behind Slaley Hall, said it was wrong to imply that Mr Kassam was a "key figure" in the consortium or that he had invested in it. He confirmed, however, that Mr Kassam had been employed as a consultant for Adelphi as well as a number of other companies.

He said the consortium was well aware of the "problems arising following the recession-driven collapse of his hotel group" and had retained him for his "acknowledged expertise in the British hotel industry" - a statement that will raise eyebrows in hotel circles.

Mr Kassam, whose bankruptcy prevents him from being a company director or owning businesses, is believed to be close to completing a number of other significant deals.

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Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

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