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Surinder Arora and Premier Inn agree £125m airport joint venture – For more hospitality stories, see what the weekend papers say

14 September 2009 by
Surinder Arora and Premier Inn agree £125m airport joint venture – For more hospitality stories, see what the weekend papers say

Surinder Arora and Premier Inn agree £125m airport joint ventureRead the full article in the Sunday Times >>
Tavern on the Green owners file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy The family behind New York's Tavern on the Green - once one of the USA's highest-grossing independent restaurants - has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after losing a bidding war for a new 20-year lease on the building last month and seeing the recession dent its trade. The Central Park restaurant, which can seat 1,500 diners across its six dining rooms, generated sales of $36m (£22m) last year and is famous for its weddings, chandeliers and mirrored rooms. It was acquired in 1974 by Warner LeRoy and reopened in 1976 after a $10m (£6m) revamp. The LeRoy's are expected to sell their rights to the Tavern on the Green name (valued as high as $19m or £11.5m) to pay off their creditors. Debts include $1.8m (£1.1m) owned to the pension, healthcare and training funds of the New York Hotel Trades Council (a union that represents its 400 staff) and $76,923 (£46,550) owned to the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. The Tavern will switch to new leaseholder Dean Poll on 31 December. Poll, who also owns the Boathouse restaurant in Central Park, plans to invest $25m (£15m) in the Tavern over the next few years, including opening a new outdoor café. - 11 September, Read the full article in the Times >>
Gaggia coffee machine customers left in the lurch
Cafés, hotels and restaurants using upmarket Italian Gaggia coffee machines - which can cost up to £20,000 - have been left without supplies of specialist water filters, accessories and spare parts since the only UK distributor, Gaggia UK, stopped trading after reporting losses of £520,000 last year. Dutch electrical giant Philips, which has just acquired Gaggia owner Saeco, has admitted it will be at least 'a couple of weeks' before supplies can resume. "Gaggia UK, which is not part of the brand we have purchased, has gone bust and we are wiping up the mess in Britain," said a Philips spokeswoman. "We are still awaiting stock of accessories such as filters from Italy, which we will look to push out when we can, hopefully in about two weeks. Our first priority has been to repair machines that have gone wrong." In the meantime, she urged customers to contact Philips UK customer care division on 0800 331 6015 to be registered on its database. - 12 September, Read the full article in the Daily Mail >>
Cadbury boss dismisses £10bn bid from Kraft Foods
Cadbury chairman Roger Carr has issued a terse message disparaging Kraft Food's $16.7b (£10b) takeover offer, which was tabled last Monday, as an "unappealing" and "unattractive prospect" that failed to reflect Cadbury's value and growth prospects. In an open letter to the chairman of US food giant Kraft that will be issued to the London Stock Exchange on Monday, Carr wrote, "Your proposal is for Cadbury shareholders to exchange shares in a pure-play confectionery business for cash and shares in Kraft, a company with a considerably less focused business mix and historically lower growth." Cadbury will hold an investor presentation in London this week to argue that Kraft's 745p-a-share offer significantly undervalued its potential. With speculation rife that Kraft could launch a hostile bid within days, City sources believe the US company is preparing for a long fight to acquire Cadbury. Other potential bidders lining up to look at Cadbury are thought to include private equity group KKR, possibly in concert with US chocolate giant Hershey's, and Nestlé, the world's biggest food company. - 13 September, Read the full article in the Sunday Times >>

By Angela Frewin

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