Newcastle-based Malhotra Group achieve PLC status as part of future flotation plans

The Newcastle firm has grown from humble beginnings to become a thriving £22.5m turnover group operating in leisure, care and property

Meenu Malhotra, founder and chairman of the Malhotra Group
Meenu Malhotra, founder and chairman of the Malhotra Group

A family firm is planning to create another 1,000 jobs in the North East after achieving plc status as part of plans for a future flotation.

The Newcastle-based Malhotra Group – which operates in the leisure, property and care home sectors – last year brought together its 26 companies and partnerships and consolidated them within one group, after a three-year rationalisation process.

The firm began life when Meenu Malhotra came to the UK just over 35 years ago, originally setting up a clothing company which took first year turnover of £50,000 from a standing start.

His younger brother Devinder, known as Bunti, soon joined him from India, and they invested money from the clothing business into property.

Since establishing the group through its founding company in 1991, the Malhotra Group has since become a true North East success story with a turnover that has seen growth year on year, from £19.5m in 2013 to £22m in 2014 and to a predicted £25m this year.

The group forms part of Malhotra Family Holdings, which has interests in both the UK and in India, and while all shares currently remain privately owned by the Malhotra family, the firm said the opportunity for them to be bought by the public will be offered in the future.

A date for the group’s future flotation will not be set for some time, but the firm said it is committed to offering the opportunity for shares to be bought by the public.

The company owns and operates a range of hotels, bars and restaurants in and around Newcastle, along with ten care homes in the North East, with a further two in the pipeline.

In addition the Malhotra Group also owns a large commercial property portfolio, with a range of blue chip tenants such as RBS, Barclays Bank, Vodaphone and Pret a Manger occupying high street and city centre locations nationwide.

Currently employing around 1,000 people, the group has embarked upon a five year expansion plan which will see the firm grow through acquisition, taking staff numbers to more than 2,000 by 2020.

The growth plans were put into action after securing a £25m deal with the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Group chairman Meenu Malhotra said: “We have always had a plan to acquire and develop underperforming assets and bring them to their fullest potential.

“We now own prestigious buildings across a number of prime sites, as well as market leading care homes and leisure outlets, and our plans over the next five years will see the group become a major force in these key growth sectors.”

Front Row – Malhotra Group: Mohammad Malik, Meenu Malhotra, Bunty Malhotra and Atul Malhotra
Front Row – Malhotra Group: Mohammad Malik, Meenu Malhotra, Bunty Malhotra and Atul Malhotra

The company started building its portfolio in 1991, with the acquisition of the old Parrish’s department store in Newcastle, with the upper floors subsequently turned into student accommodation.

Its first foray into the care home sector also began in 1991, with the acquisition of an existing home in Birtley, County Durham followed swiftly by another purchase in Sunderland in 1992.

Steady growth continued over the years, with the company taking its first steps into the leisure industry in 2004 with the acquisition of a Newcastle city centre pub.

By 2014 the Malhotra Group had taken over the New Northumbria Hotel and the Grey Street Hotel in Newcastle, The Three Mile Inn in Gosforth, and developed a number of new care homes, along with running city centre back packers hostel, The Albatross.

Throughout this period the property portfolio has also been developed, with the company purchased underperforming assets and brought them into the group.

Future plans for the care home business include the development of two new homes, one at Melton Park, Gosforth, Newcastle which is due to open in August with 67 beds and an 88-bed care facility on the site of the former Alnwick Bus Depot in Northumberland.

Work on the latter is due to begin in the spring, with a projected opening in 2016.

Future developments in the leisure sector include the refurbishment of Newcastle’s Grey Street Hotel and the recently acquired Rex Hotel in Whitley Bay, plus a 67-bedroom hotel to enhance the existing offering at the Three Mile Inn.

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