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The Preacherman

Von Essen Hotels In Administration

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Von Essen in administration after defaulting on interest

Management of Von Essen Hotels were taken by surprise by the company's banks putting the business into administration.

Lloyds Banking Group and Barclays called in administrators Ernst & Young on Wednesday evening after the hotel group failed to make interest payments on its £250m debt pile.

Although the hotel group had been struggling in the downturn The Daily Telegraph understands management were given little or no warning administrators were about to be appointed.

...The hotel group had long been dogged by rumours about its financial performance with allegations individual hotels had been subject to county court judgements.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/retailandconsumer/leisure/8467241/Von-Essen-in-administration-after-defaulting-on-interest.html

Another debt fuelled vanity project goes bump.

Seems that these sort of ventures only make sense as smaller owner run projects where the service level that justifies the price can be provided.

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Interesting comment.

kayak77

Yesterday 09:07 PM

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No suprise that the directors didnt know untill the last minute, i know of 16 companys ( all but two very good businesses and all of the other 14 were up to date with all payments and in different sectors) and all of them have had there overdrafts etc called in over the last 6 weeks with no notice by the biggest two bailed out banks, seems to be that the banks are trying to build up their cash reserves( prob to play on the stockmarket!!!) and are trying to either get these companys to go to invoice factoring etc or in 5 cases they have started winding up orders against the companys...

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Another debt fuelled vanity project goes bump.

Seems that these sort of ventures only make sense as smaller owner run projects where the service level that justifies the price can be provided.

Fantastic news. The Barrister Cxxt who owns that crock of shyte is the biggest slime bag ever. :lol:

I just hope the unfortunate staff who worked for them find alternative employment soon. :)

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Interesting comment.

kayak77

Yesterday 09:07 PM

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5 people

No suprise that the directors didnt know untill the last minute, i know of 16 companys ( all but two very good businesses and all of the other 14 were up to date with all payments and in different sectors) and all of them have had there overdrafts etc called in over the last 6 weeks with no notice by the biggest two bailed out banks, seems to be that the banks are trying to build up their cash reserves( prob to play on the stockmarket!!!) and are trying to either get these companys to go to invoice factoring etc or in 5 cases they have started winding up orders against the companys...

This is starting to feel like Spring 2009 all over again. Business that had healthy boom time trading models suddenly faced a drop in orders and the banks were no longer happy to provide working capital.

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This is starting to feel like Spring 2009 all over again. Business that had healthy boom time trading models suddenly faced a drop in orders and the banks were no longer happy to provide working capital.

Von Essen have always been particularly reliant on high end conference bookings and serious dosh weddings. Come the credit crunch if you are a hard pushed business but need to run a conference are you going to opt for;

a. Von Essen at £50 a head plus £150 a night for accomodation

b. Old English Country Inns at £20 a head plus £60 a night

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Fantastic news. The Barrister Cxxt who owns that crock of shyte is the biggest slime bag ever. :lol:

I just hope the unfortunate staff who worked for them find alternative employment soon. :)

Interesting article on Andrew Davis from 2004 that I've managed to suck out of fortress Murdoch.

Special report: Strange world of Andrew Davis

He is building a hotel empire but where does his money come from, asks Matthew Goodman

Dressed formally in a dark-grey Brioni suit, Andrew Davis was behaving rather informally. He knelt on the bed and said: “You get a good shag here.”

The wink wink, nudge nudge style is part of the Davis charm offensive, which was in full flow as the founder and chief executive of Von Essen Hotels — a collection of some of Britain’s best converted country houses — raced around Cliveden like an over-excited schoolboy.

Davis, 40, could not contain his enthusiasm for the place, and if that meant dropping a few names along the way, so be it. His PR woman shook her head when Davis asked if he could mention any of the celebrities who have stayed at Cliveden, but he proceeded to let slip that David Hockney had signed and illustrated the guest book. Other signatories included Henry Kissinger.

“Sorry, Victoria,” he apologised to his PR chaperone, “I’m terribly indiscreet, aren’t I?” A day in Davis’s company throws up all sorts of names, from Roman Abramovich and Colonel Mikhail Kalashnikov to Johnny Depp and Chris Evans, all of whom have apparently been guests at his hotels or used his fleet of helicopters.

The one name he was careful not to drop was Sir Paul McCartney. Friends of Davis said the former Beatle is prepared to help finance his purchase of a landmark hotel in London, such as the Lanesborough.

Quizzed repeatedly about McCartney’s involvement, Davis refused to crack. He confirmed that he had a number of potential investors, some of whom were well known. All he would say was that two were English, one was from Jordan and one from Russia. A spokesman for McCartney said he did not know about any potential hotel investments.

Although Davis would not comment on McCartney, he revealed that the former Beatle’s son-in-law, Alasdhair Willis (Stella’s husband), was to become his creative director.

It is not only celebrity names that Davis bandies about. Walk into a room in any one of the 16 Von Essen Hotels — which include such landmark properties as the Royal Crescent in Bath and Sharrow Bay in the Lake District — and it will be seconds before he points to an Old Master hanging on the wall and tells you how much it is worth. A Singer Sargent portrait of Nancy Astor at Cliveden is worth £4m. A painting of Lord Greystoke (better known as Tarzan) is valued at £ 1m.

And then there are the company’s helicopters and fleet of luxury cars (Aston Martins, Bentleys, Range Rovers and Ferraris) used to ferry executives round the estate and available for hire by hotel guests.

In a decade Davis has built up an unprecedented collection of hotels and assembled a loyal team of lieutenants. But questions remain about how the group is funded and the source of Davis’s wealth.

One recent estimate put his worth at £250m. He said £150m would be nearer the mark. The accounts show the business, wholly owned by Davis, has net assets of almost £40m. The rest, supposedly, comes from art, property and other investments — all held offshore.

Because of the lack of transparency, Davis will not feature in the forthcoming Sunday Times Rich List. Philip Beresford, its compiler, said he was being “cautious” because he could not verify the source of Davis’s wealth.

It appears that Von Essen is financed largely through bank debt and family trusts. According to the accounts for Von Essen Hotels, £47m is owed to banks (Davis has five main lenders) and £3m is owed to offshore trusts. Davis refused to say how much money they hold or who the other beneficiaries are.

Several stories have suggested that Davis is bankrolled by a mysterious Austrian aunt, the Countess Von Essen, about whom nobody has been able to turn up much information.

Colleagues of Davis said she definitely existed but Davis claimed that speculation that she was his main benefactor was laughable. He said she helped him when he was getting started, buying some antiques for the hotels and paying for some interior design, and that her contribution amounted to “£1m or £2m”.

For an industry that is rife with gossip, those who make their living trading hotels have found it nigh impossible to uncover much about the deeply private Von Essen founder. One such source said, after trying to dig into Davis’s background, that he gave up because “life is too short”.

After this paper’s diary column, Prufrock, ran a story on Davis’s interest in the Lanesborough, a number of readers phoned to deride the idea.

Until recently little had been written about Davis, who has four homes — including a villa on the Côte d’Azur and a fivestorey Georgian house in Knightsbridge. His desire to acquire the Lanesborough, one of London’s most upmarket hotels, led to a spate of mostly unwelcome publicity.

It was partly to counter this that Davis agreed to allow The Sunday Times to spend a day with him. It was, Davis said, the first time he had met a business journalist and he delivered a whirlwind tour of half-a-dozen of his hotels to give a glimpse behind the scenes.

All the staff knew him and Davis greeted them with a smile. Despite the cheeky-chappy persona, he was extremely courteous, referring to all his boardroom colleagues as Mr or Mrs.

But back to the Lanesborough. Davis has assiduously amassed an enviable portfolio of hotels (he doggedly referred to them as “a collection”) but is desperate to get his hands on a gateway London hotel that will act as a feeder to his country-house properties. He feels the Lanesborough would fit the bill.

But even his colleagues do not rate his chances. Martin Rogers, who is set to join Von Essen from Knight Frank, the surveyor, and who has advised Davis on most of his deals, said: “Today, there is a 0% chance of Andrew buying it.”

The hotel’s owner, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, is already negotiating with at least one, possibly two, potential buyers — and Davis is not one of them.

This fact does nothing to dent Davis’s enthusiasm. “We are tenacious,” he said with another of his knowing smiles. Indeed, a four-inch thick folder on the Lanesborough provided the reading matter on the Sikorsky helicopter that carried Davis between hotels.

Alongside a passion for ties (Davis claims to own more than 1,000), he is driven by dealmaking — not to mention art, diamonds and property.

But Davis’s big ambition is to build a collection of 25 of the finest country-house hotels in Britain. All of them, he said, will have 20 to 30 bedrooms, two restaurants and a spa. He is up to 16 and he said he had a mental list of the next 10 acquisitions.

Davis wants to modernise many of the hotels in his “Private Collection”, a tall order given that they are listed buildings. Von Essen has earmarked about £30m, from cashflow and bank borrowings, to add new restaurants, spas and bedrooms to most of his properties. This is where Willis will be helping.

Davis said property valuation underpinned all his acquisitions. He loves to point out how much he could get for the land his hotels are built on. “I’m a real-estate boy. We don’t do goodwill — that went out with the war. Everything has to have an underlying real-estate value.”

For a man so enamoured of his mini-empire, it is surprising to learn that Davis got into hotels by chance. A friend of his, Peter Jackson (of Jacksons of Piccadilly, the tea company) was moving abroad and had one hotel, the Mount Somerset in Taunton, that he was trying to sell. Davis bought it from him with the intention of using it as an office from which to deal in art and jewellery. The hotel had a number of bookings, which Davis fulfilled. That went so well, a receiver asked him if he wanted to buy another, which he did.

In the decade since then there has been a string of acquisitions. Davis would not say what he is working on next. Instead he strolled out to the front lawn of Ston Easton Park, Bath, and shouted to the pilot. “Fire it up, Captain.” And with that he was off, thinking about the next deal.

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Interesting article on Andrew Davis from 2004 that I've managed to suck out of fortress Murdoch.

Just another spiv who rode the Brown/ Bliar credit wave. I dare say he has tucked a few million away somewhere out of reach even if he does go bust. These cXXts never lose.

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Another debt fuelled vanity project goes bump.

Seems that these sort of ventures only make sense as smaller owner run projects where the service level that justifies the price can be provided.

I stayed in one of their hotels a couple of times (Moonfleet), and that one was a bit grotty around the edges. It had some nice bits, but stray to far from the stuff set up for the photo shoots and everything started to look a bit shabby. Very small pool, a major building that always seemed to smell of damp, etc.

I don't know about the corporate side, but it didn't look like a place for the serious rich - just a place for people who want to pretend to be rich for a w/e...

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Heres a previous thread on this

http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/index.php?showtopic=96456&st=0&p=1489856

Von Essen is a holding company, so it acts a bit like a giant BTL company.

The hotels should mostly stay open they just have to deal with a landlord who has gone bust.

Of course some of the hotels must have been failing to make the rent so I imagine there could be a few closures in the pipeline. Anyone fancy buying a huge country estate?

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I stayed in one of their hotels a couple of times (Moonfleet), and that one was a bit grotty around the edges. It had some nice bits, but stray to far from the stuff set up for the photo shoots and everything started to look a bit shabby. Very small pool, a major building that always seemed to smell of damp, etc.

I don't know about the corporate side, but it didn't look like a place for the serious rich - just a place for people who want to pretend to be rich for a w/e...

That sums up Von Essen to a T.

When I was an EHO at various times I have inspected 3 different VE hotels. Very plush exteriors but once you scratch the surface very poor indeed.

On the food hygiene side the pressure to cut costs saw chefs relabelling out of date food.

On the safety side it was a contstant battle to get any work done, often quite crtical electrical, gas and fire safety stuff. Virtually the norm to have to serve enforcement notcies and then go throught the ritual fight with Davis who is a complete txxt

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I stayed in one of their hotels a couple of times (Moonfleet), and that one was a bit grotty around the edges. It had some nice bits, but stray to far from the stuff set up for the photo shoots and everything started to look a bit shabby. Very small pool, a major building that always seemed to smell of damp, etc.

I don't know about the corporate side, but it didn't look like a place for the serious rich - just a place for people who want to pretend to be rich for a w/e...

yeah - its the sort of place where twats have their 'dream wedding' for £30K and spend the next 20 years paying it off.

Alternatively you could just book a 50 head wedding at an Old English inns Hotel for £999! :lol:

Edited by Kurt Barlow

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I don't know about the corporate side, but it didn't look like a place for the serious rich - just a place for people who want to pretend to be rich for a w/e...

aka known as the secretly poor.

Is it a coincidence that Von Essen goes bust the day after The Wail publishes its 'Nouveau Poor' article?

Edited by legend

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Heres a previous thread on this

http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/index.php?showtopic=96456&st=0&p=1489856

Von Essen is a holding company, so it acts a bit like a giant BTL company.

The hotels should mostly stay open they just have to deal with a landlord who has gone bust.

Of course some of the hotels must have been failing to make the rent so I imagine there could be a few closures in the pipeline. Anyone fancy buying a huge country estate?

Sounds like the lenders feel Von Essen have little hope of covering their payments and are trying to get things sold -off pronto before the value plunges.

Probably a bit late for that as I feel that in these recessionary times, the expensive Spa hotel market is already in a steep decline!

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You can’t buy love.

But £105,000 will get you a long way towards the perfect night of romance.

Amberley Castle, near Arundel, is promising customers the perfect first date.

The hotel is offering a lavish overnight break which will only appeal to the wealthiest of customers.

To ensure a flawless night, couples will be flown from their homes to the castle by helicopter or private jet, cutting out all traffic and making sure they do not keep their date waiting.

The pampered pair will have a team of stylists, beauty therapists, hairdressers and even a dentist to make sure they look picture perfect for a night to remember

http://www.theargus.co.uk/news/8868269.Amberley_Castle_offers___105k_first_date/

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Interesting comment.

kayak77

Yesterday 09:07 PM

Recommended by

5 people

No suprise that the directors didnt know untill the last minute, i know of 16 companys ( all but two very good businesses and all of the other 14 were up to date with all payments and in different sectors) and all of them have had there overdrafts etc called in over the last 6 weeks with no notice by the biggest two bailed out banks, seems to be that the banks are trying to build up their cash reserves( prob to play on the stockmarket!!!) and are trying to either get these companys to go to invoice factoring etc or in 5 cases they have started winding up orders against the companys...

that is interesting. I have an auction alert email from http://bidspotter.co.uk/ every now and again and lately there has been a very noticeable rise in the number of wound up businesses being auctioned off.

now if only they would start to do it with houses.

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yeah - its the sort of place where twats have their 'dream wedding' for £30K and spend the next 20 years paying it off.

Alternatively you could just book a 50 head wedding at an Old English inns Hotel for £999! :lol:

we went to the local Toby about a year ago...you know, the £5 a head place.

Delighted to encounter a wedding party, complete with Bride and Groom there. they were having a great time and saving a fortune.

Well done the Toby Carvery Stanway.

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Not really a shock to be honest, hotels in some locations are really struggling. I'm an affiliate for Laterooms and my bookings this year are down 50% on what they were last year yet I'm getting more enquiries.

Try finding a decent hotel on a Friday or Saturday night for under £100 a night and you'll struggle. Joe Public just can't afford it.

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we went to the local Toby about a year ago...you know, the £5 a head place.

Delighted to encounter a wedding party, complete with Bride and Groom there. they were having a great time and saving a fortune.

Well done the Toby Carvery Stanway.

Toby Carvery are owned by Mitchell and Butler. Competes with GK's Hungry Horse brand in terms of pricing.

Here you go. OEI still running the 50 guests for under a grand wedding. Got to be better than blowing your lifesavings feeding a load of relatives you hate :lol:

http://www.oldenglishinns.co.uk/wedding-offer?PHPSESSID=a85ce22f85e93b35843e4b5284c190ad

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I've stayed at a few of the hotels they now own when they were independent - lovely places before they got hold of them, 'probably been corporatised since.

e.g. http://www.hunstretehouse.co.uk/

Good to see w*nky firms like this going bust - I hope the same fate befalls pub chains who have ruined a great British institution.

Edited by Constable

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patience dear constable.punch and enterprise living on borrowed time according to a friend who repoes pubs.

http://uk.finance.yahoo.com/q/ks?s=PUB.L

http://uk.finance.yahoo.com/q/ks?s=ETI.L

says there running out of people willing to spunk their redundancies on life as a LL.oh and they're deep in the hole.

Punch are in a terrible mess. When I worked for Greene King we were cherry picking their estate with offers a day or two before the next installment to one of their major creditors ;)

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On the food hygiene side the pressure to cut costs saw chefs relabelling out of date food.

The guy that did my house removals works at one of Jamie Olivers restaurants and told me they do relabelling of out of date food there.

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The guy that did my house removals works at one of Jamie Olivers restaurants and told me they do relabelling of out of date food there.

Having worked as a local govt EHO for 17 years plus 3 years in commerical plus consultancy over a 12 year period I would say your average Mcdonalds, Toby Carvery or Hungry Horse are more hygienic than your upper - top end restaurant. I am not just talking about places being physically unclean but inherently hazardous practices that place customers at potential risk

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Another debt-fuelled vanity project goes bump.

How did this mentality ever take over?

If you haven't got it, flaunt it.

'Light touch regulation'?

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  • 312 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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