ADMINISTRATORS have been called in to look for buyers for a portfolio of 42 Marriott-branded hotels in the UK, but insist the sites will be run as normal in the meantime.
Ernst & Young declared it was “business as usual” for the hotels – which include the Gosforth Park site in Newcastle and the Metrocentre site in Gateshead – after it was appointed as receiver to portfolio owners Professional Ventures Corporation. Joint administrative receivers Alan Bloom and Roy Bailey were brought in by Royal Bank of Scotland when it took control of the properties this week.
Bailey said: “Marriott will continue to operate the hotels and this decision will not affect customers, suppliers or employees of the hotels.”
Professional Ventures Corporation is a British Virgin Islands-headquartered firm. It acts as a holding company for the owners of the hotels, including Delek Real Estate, Blenheim Property Group and Quinlan Private.
Royal Bank of Scotland sold these hotels for about £1.1bn in 2007, but the buyers took on significant debt of as much as £900m to complete the deal. About £700m is held by RBS, while another loan owned by Lehman Brothers is now with York Capital.
Some hotels in the portfolio were sold for £50m in 2007 to reduce the amount owed, but RBS stepped in this week after failing to restructure the debt.
Marriott International still operates the hotels under a 30-year agreement which is around five years old.
The portfolio also includes sites in Edinburgh, Manchester Airport, Bristol, Liverpool, Leeds and several in London.