Administrators to run luxury London hotels

Link: Le Meridien FD bemoans travel slump

Kroll insolvency practitioners, Simon Freakley and Alastair Beveridge, were last week appointed administrative receivers for the two flagship London hotels. Both the luxury hotels will continue to operate without interruption whilst a suitable buyer is found for the company.

Le Meridien’s nine other hotels based in the UK and Ireland will also eventually be phased out of the worldwide group and its brand. Le Meridien is currently in discussions with the Royal Bank of Scotland, which owns the 11 UK and Ireland hotels, regarding the continuing operation and management of the hotels whilst the bank finds them new operators.

The hotels’ separation came after RBS decided the Le Meridien’s proposals regarding the future of Grosvenor House and The Waldorf no longer suited its requirements.

Le Meridien’s lenders, who are currently debating a refinancing proposal by Lehman Brothers and Hyatt Financial Corporation, are still funding the group’s remaining 126 worldwide hotels.

The proposal will involve a new business plan for a stand alone hotel company with £100m of new equity invested in Le Meridien.

Stephen Alexander, CEO of Le Meridien, said: ‘The Board of Le Meridien has sought at all times over the past several months to encourage all stakeholders to invest in the long term future of our business and to resolve the future ownership and financing structure.

‘Whilst it was our preference that the final outcome would see the group remain together, it is nevertheless good that we now have greater clarity on the future structure and, in particular, to know that we have the continuing support of our lenders.’

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