Former owners of the House Collection plan to buy back the company
Two former directors of an East Anglian boutique hotel company that was put into administration in July are taking steps to buy back the business.
David Toulson-Burke and Jonathan Baker will consider the value of the 21-bedroom Poet's House in Ely, Cambridgeshire (pictured), and the 15-bedroom Paddock House, near Newmarket, before making any bid.
The two hotels operated within the House Collection, which was placed into administration in July, after negotiations between them and Eastern Counties Finance (ECF) broke down.
EDF funded the development of the House Collection, which was set up in 2012 by Toulson-Burke, Baker and commercial director Ian Cross, who left the business at the end of last year.
Toulson-Baker said that the value of the two hotels may be impacted by a decline in standards since BDO appointed PAT Partners as operator of the properties. In August, East Cambridgeshire District Council recorded a food hygiene rating of two, down from its previous score of five.
There have also been reports of unrest among the staff, which has resulted in the senior teams across the two hotels leaving the business.
"We are seriously considering both of these factors within our decision to bid and whilst being confident these matters can be brought back to the standard achieved under our ownership, this will take a great deal of hard work and re-engagement to bring our award-winning brand back to where it was left pre-administration," explained Toulson-Burke.
"We await specific detail around the current trading and performance figures of the businesses in order to realise a true purchase value of the hotels in their now state of administration."
Poet's House and Paddock House are being marketed by Colliers International for an undisclosed sum, either together or as individual properties.
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