Menzies Hotels, the 16-strong group of four-star properties, has been bought by its management after the parent company - Piccadilly Hotels - went into administration.
The sale has resulted in a financial restructuring of Menzies Hotels, in agreement with its lender, Lloyds Banking Group, under a new company called Cordial Hotels.
As a result of the restructure, the company, which is now majority-owned by the management team, is on a sound financial footing, with the provision of additional funds for a significant refurbishment programme. The Derby-based company has a total of 1,700 bedrooms and employs 1,300 staff. Its hotels include the 78-bedroom Welcombe Hotel in Straford-upon-Avon and the 76-bedroom Carlton hotel in Bournemouth.
Tim Penter, the group's chief executive, is to be joined by newly appointed executive chairman Niall Geoghegan, who was chief executive of Jurys Inn until 2008, and Tracey Ratcliffe, previously with Heythrop Park and Principal Hayley, as sales director.
Penter said the refinancing illustrated Lloyds Banking Group's commitment to Menzies and heralded a new and exciting phase in the company's development.
"I am also delighted to welcome Niall and Tracey and look forward to working with them to develop the business to its full potential," he said.
Geoghegan commented: "Notwithstanding the challenging economic environment, I believe that Menzies Hotels has excellent growth potential as the economy improves and I am excited to be working with Tim and the management team to drive the growth and development of the Menzies business and brand".
Piccadilly Hotels went into administration on 28 June. As well as the 16 Menzies Hotels, it also owned six properties leased to Travelodge. The administrator, KPMG, is now marketing the six hotels for sale, while they continue to be operated as normal by Travelodge.
By Janet Harmer
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