Brocket Hall for sale after administration

07 April 2015 by
Brocket Hall for sale after administration

The lease for the Brocket Hall Estate in Hertfordshire, including the Auberge du Lac restaurant, is up for sale, after operator Brocket Hall International went into administration.

Brocket Hall International (BHI) called in AlixPartners on 31 March, after what the administrators called a "protracted period of poor trading" which led to financial difficulties for the business.

The 543-acre estate comprises a golf club centred around two courses, an 18th century stately home with meeting rooms, conference suite, dining rooms and 46 guest rooms, and Auberge du Lac.

Brocket Hall, the one-time home of former British Prime Minister Lord Palmerston, is the family seat of Lord Brocket.

However, despite the fact that Lord Brocket owns the freehold of the estate, he no longer owns the lease. Having been jailed in 1991 for a £4.3m car insurance fraud, Lord Brocket placed the estate into the hands of a board of trustees, who then leased it to BHI.

BHI, run by Hong Kong-based businessman Dieter Klostermann, has been in financial difficulty for some time. In its last set of published accounts, for the year to 31 December 2012, its auditors questioned its ability to keep running as a going concern after the company incurred a net loss of over £1m for the period, with net liabilities of nearly £1.9m.

Its move into administration was precipitated by a winding-up petition from HMRC, and it faced another winding-up petition late last year from Autogate Services and Installation Ltd.

Despite that, the entire business, including Auberge du Lac, will continue to run as normal while AlixPartners explores options for a sale. Lord Brocket is thought to be interested in buying back the lease, it has been reported, although it is not clear at this stage whether there are other interested parties.

The administrator said it would honour all bookings and deposits, and that golf club membership was unaffected.

Peter Holder, joint administrator, said: "Brocket Hall and its magnificent grounds represents a fantastic opportunity in the luxury hospitality and leisure sector. We are confident there will be a significant number of interested parties in acquiring this truly unique and historic estate. We would also like to go on record and thank the staff for their continued support and professionalism during this process."

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