A COMPANY owned by Greg Dyke, the former director general of the BBC, has saved jobs in Yorkshire by buying a hotel out of administration for more than £1m.
Saxon Hotels, which is chaired and owned by Mr Dyke, has stepped in to provide a new lease of life for the three star Cutlers Hotel, which is based in George Street, Sheffield. The deal saves 16 jobs at the hotel, and Mr Dyke plans to invest in Cutlers to help it attract more guests.
Mr Dyke, who is chancellor of York University and chairman of the Football Association, said yesterday: “Our business (Saxon Hotels) in Sheffield has performed well since we acquired it nearly 10 years ago.
“The opportunity to acquire Cutlers Hotel is a perfect fit for us and our existing management team.
“I am personally delighted we have been successful in this purchase and look forward to building on the strong relationships we have built up over the last decade or so in Sheffield.
“We will be investing substantially to bring this popular city centre hotel right up to date and to meet our guests’ expectations. It’s such a perfect location for business and leisure users alike. I’m confident it will be a successful and long term contributor to Sheffield’s increasingly vibrant urban life”.
Phil Pierce and Ben Woolrych, partners at restructuring firm FRP Advisory, secured the sale.
The 45-bedroom Cutlers Hotel, a member of the Best Western Group of independently owned hotels, was sold as the principal asset of Meridius, which went into administration in September.
At the time, FRP said Meridius had entered administration due to “unsustainable pressure on the cash-flow of the company under its previous financial structure”.
The administrators instructed Convivial Group, a hospitality agent, to manage the day-to-day running of the hotel, so it could continue to trade and take bookings during the administration period.
A marketing process, which was handled by Peter Bean of Colliers International led to approaches from 14 parties, and it attracted multiple bids in excess of the asking price of £950,000.
In a statement, a spokesman for FRP advisory, said: “The sale to Saxon Hotels, which operates Mosborough Hall, another Best Western Hotel, and Whirlowbrook Hall, both located near Sheffield, is an excellent strategic fit and offered the best long-term solution for the hotel.”
Mr Pierce, the joint administrator and partner at FRP Advisory, said yesterday: “The sale of this landmark Sheffield hotel is a great result for the business, its customers and all 16 staff that transfer over to new owners Saxon Hotels.
“The administration period provided a vital cushion to allow for a thorough marketing process while the hotel continued to trade as normal.
“Interest in the hotel was widespread and we received competing offers for the business, but in Saxon Hotels we have found an experienced and high quality local operator offering the best long-term solution for the Cutlers Hotel.
“We wish the new owners every success.”