Barclays Corporate has provided Firmdale Hotels with £188 million to help fund the seven-strong boutique group's next phase of expansion.
The facility will specifically help to finance the development of Firmdale's latest project, a 92 bedroom boutique hotel with 120-seat cinema, bowling alley, 23 residential apartments and 12 retail units at Ham Yard in Soho, near Piccadilly Circus. On completion in 2013, Ham Yard will join Firmdale's other hotels in London (Haymarket, Soho, Covent Garden, Charlotte Street, Knightsbridge and Number Sixteen) and the Crosby Street hotel in New York. The Dorset Square hotel, which the group bought out of administration earlier this year will reopen in spring 2012 following a major refurbishment.
Barclays has also agreed to refinance all Firmdale's existing facilities for a term of three to five years, providing security of liquidity over this period. The bank has worked with Firmdale Hotels for 14 years and its head of hotel finance, Tim Helliwell, said the group has successfully carved out their place in the competitive London hotel market.
Earlier this year Firmdale announced an average room rate of £300 in the year to 31 January 2011 - double the figure for other London hotels - together with an annual turnover of £69.4m, which was an increase of 28.5% on the previous year.
"The ongoing success of Firmdale during a challenging time for the sector generally is truly impressive, and we look forward to supporting the Group's future growth ambitions," he said
Malcolm Soden, Finance Director, Firmdale Hotels, said as a hotel developer and operator, the company's banking relationship is critically important to the existing business and future growth aspirations.
"Having already provided development finance for five of our hotels over the years, Barclays have once more stepped up to the plate and enabled our new Ham Yard development to progress," he said." We value greatly long standing relationships where understanding and trust has been built over time and we consider our partnership with Barclays to be an excellent example of this".
Founded by Tim and Kit Kemp, Firmdale Hotels has won numerous awards for the unique English interior design of its properties and has received the Queens Award for Enterprise in 2000, 2006 and 2009 for its outstanding achievement in international trade.
By Janet Harmer
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