The Caterer

QMH leaves stock exchange as new owner takes over

27 October 2004
QMH leaves stock exchange as new owner takes over

Queens Moat Houses (QMH) yesterday ceased trading on the London stock exchange as new owner Whitehall 2001 officially took control of the troubled hotel group.

Whitehall's £544m restructuring package was approved today by court order, following the acceptance of the scheme a week ago by shareholders, who will receive 1p a share under the deal.

QMH was nearly capsized by an accounting scandal more than 10 years ago that saddled it with enormous debts.

The company, which has more than 80 properties in the UK, Germany and the Netherlands, was put up for sale in January following a review of its business by investment bank Morgan Stanley.

QMH's £640m debt has been reduced following the payment of junior term debt and the conversion of junior convertible debt at a rate of 1p per share. Whitehall has assumed responsibility for the hotel group's £250m mortgage debenture.

Property financier Whitehall is owned by investment bank Goldman Sachs, which owns and operates Holiday Inns across Europe with partner Westmont Hospitality.

by Angela Frewin

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