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Saphos Hotels rescues Gravetye Manor from administration

02 March 2010 by
Saphos Hotels rescues Gravetye Manor from administration

Gravetye Manor, the three-AA-red-star, three-AA-rosette country house hotel near East Grinstead in West Sussex, has been rescued from administration.

The property, which collapsed into administration in January because it was carrying too much debt, has been sold to Saphos Hotels, a new company set up by private investor Jeremy Hosking, securing the jobs of the 45 existing employees.

The news comes as a blow to luxury hotel operator Von Essen, which was confident that it would secure a deal to take on Gravetye, which is a Relais & Chateaux member.

Karen Dukes, joint administrator at PricewaterhouseCoopers, said: "We received a number of expressions of interest in this prestigious hotel from all over the world, showing there is still appetite for investing in the right businesses as we come out of a recession.

"Although we have still to review the claims of creditors, we are hopeful of securing a dividend in due course. We are of course, grateful to those creditors who have worked with us during our trading period.

The Elizabethan mansion was owned by Andrew Russell and chef Mark Raffan, who both worked under the property's founders Peter and Sue Herbert until they bought the property in 2004. However, Russell and Raffan left the business when it went into administration.

Hosking, co-founder of London hedge fund Marathon Asset Management, was worth an estimated £180m in 2008.

The deal was handled by property agents Edward Symmons and Christie & Co.

Administrators seek new owners for debt-ridden Gravetye Manor >>

Owners find new backer as administrators step in at Gravetye Manor >>

Hotels hardest hit by insolvencies in 2009 >>

By Daniel Thomas

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