David Urquhart Group's hotel businesses to be wound up and sold

18 May 2020 by
David Urquhart Group's hotel businesses to be wound up and sold

The hotels subsidiary of the David Urquhart Group is set to be wound up as three of the group's companies lodged proposals to enter a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) earlier this month.

Hart Hotels operates three properties in Scotland: the 75-bedroom Glenmorag hotel in Dunoon, the 54-bedroom Garve hotel, and 56-bedroom Mackay's hotel in Strathpeffer (pictured). Colliers International has been engaged to market and sell the three properties. The sales are anticipated to generate sufficient funds to repay creditors in full.

A message from the directors of Hart Hotels said: "The ongoing coronavirus crisis has had a dramatic impact on all business sectors but especially within travel and tourism. At present it is impossible to establish when hotel operations will return to normal operating capacity.

"The directors of Hart Hotels Ltd have been carefully considering these matters and have made the decision, in the absence of acquisition from interested parties, to wind up the hotel businesses in an orderly manner over the next few months.

"This is not a decision which has been taken lightly. Our hotel company has welcomed loyal customers for many years to the Cowal peninsula and to the Highlands and has been a prominent figure within the Scottish leisure and hospitality industry.

"However, we have to be responsive to the significant challenges the company would face if we were not to take decisive action."

Donald McNaught and Matt Henderson of Johnston Carmichael have been appointed joint nominees for the proposed CVA on behalf of Hart Hotels. The creditors meeting to consider the CVA application will be held on 21 May.

McNaught said: "Having used the CVA process to successfully protect businesses in the past, I see it becoming an invaluable tool in the current crisis. A CVA can allow business owners to seek protection from creditors to buy valuable time in which to implement plans to help turn their business around or, at the very least, seek to maximise the return to creditors.

"The CVA process is a relatively light touch that allows directors to make their proposals and then implement them. In all cases it should provide a significantly better return for creditors than alternative insolvency procedures, partly due to the lower costs involved."

Robert Smithson of Colliers International said: "These three properties are substantial, well established hotel assets in excellent trading locations, so we expect strong levels of interest from UK and international buyers. The properties provide an outstanding opportunity to acquire an instant portfolio of over 175 letting bedrooms; but our client would also consider offers for each of the popular hotels."

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