Grant Hearn, former chief executive of Travelodge, has taken over as chairman of the Hotel Collection this week following the completion of a financial restructuring of the group of 21 regional four-star hotels.
Following a period of uncertainty, the Hotel Collection, which rebranded from Puma Hotels in June, will now be able to breathe new life in its under-invested portfolio of hotels, which include the 70-bedroom Lygon Arms in Broadway; the 152-bedroom Imperial, Torquay; and the 174-bedroom Majestic, Harrogate.
The UK Group of Hotels, parent company of the Hotel Collection, was placed into administration on 7 August, soon after private equity firm Lone Star Funds acquired the company’s debilitating £323m debt.
Handled by Duff & Phelps, the administration has enabled a proportion of the debt to be discarded and jobs of all the group’s 2,200 staff to be retained.
Paul Williams, managing director of Duff & Phelps, said that the restructure of UK Group of Hotels leaves the Hotel Collection “in a stronger position to carry its business into the future”.
Hearn heads a revitalised management team at the Hotel Collection which has been boosted in recent weeks by the appointment of Peter Manby as operations director, Andrea McKay as marketing director and Helen Smith as human resources director – all under the leadership of chief executive Fredrik Korallus.
Hearn, who led Travelodge for 11 years, the latter period which involved a financial restructure as the group entered a company voluntary arrangement, said: “The Hotel Collection has a fantastic portfolio of properties across the UK and I am thrilled to be joining them at this pivotal time. Fredrik and his team have done a great job in improving the performance of the company and now everyone is ready to take it to the next level as we invest in and build the portfolio.”
Korallus added: “Grant’s appointment as chairman will further strengthen our board and support our growth ambitions following 18 months of sustained growth in revenue, profit and market share. It’s great that we are now in a position to invest further in our assets and staff as we grow the business.”