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The Scotsman hotel in Edinburgh goes into liquidation

06 July 2016 by
The Scotsman hotel in Edinburgh goes into liquidation

Edinburgh Sheriff Court appointed accountant French Duncan as the liquidator after HMRC filed for a winding-up order after the hotel failed to pay its debts.

Eileen Blackburn, partner and head of business recovery and insolvency at French Duncan, said: "The Scotsman Hotel is continuing to trade and there are no plans for that to stop. French Duncan is working with the hotel's senior management team to ensure that trading continues and to find a long term sustainable solution."

The Scotsman, which had been operated by the 16-strong JJW Hotels and Resorts group, part of MBI International, was known to have been suffering from trading difficulties for more than a year. In April 2015, The Caterer reported that staff had not been paid on time and that there would be possible redundancies.

A spokesperson for JJW Hotels and Resorts said there was "a differential" between the amount of tax that the company and HMRC believed was due.

"JJW Hotels met with the liquidator on Monday with a view to resolving matters. JJW are fully co-operating with the liquidator in relation to this unfortunate miscommunication and JJW are confident of being able to resolve the position from its substantial resources.

"There will be no redundancies, the hotel is trading well and looking forward to the extra business that comes with the Edinburgh Festival.

"We expect the legal process to be positively resolved shortly and staff and creditors to be paid on time. Rather than making redundancies, the Scotsman will in fact be seeking to fill a number of new roles.

"JJW is a substantial and robust group, with operations across Europe, including France, Portugal, France and Austria as well as the UK".

The property has had a chequered history since being opened as a hotel under the ownership of the Scotsman Hotel Group headed by Jonathan Wix to join sister hotel, the Calls in Leeds. In 2006, the group, which by then had grown to three properties to include Hôtel de la Trémoille in Paris, was sold to MBI International.

Five years later, the Scotsman Hotel Group was put into administration by Lloyds TSB as a result of being owed £50m by the company. Sheikh Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber, the Saudi businessman who heads MBI International, blamed the seizure of his UK hotels on Standard Bank's global freezing order, which he told a London court has lost him $1.6b.

Within two months JJW Group regained control over the Scotsman Hotel Group after Sheikh Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber settled his court battle with Standard Bank.

At the time of the liquidation, the Scotsman Edinburgh (Company) Ltd was registered as a UK business under the ownership of Maples Corporate Services in the British Virgin Islands.

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