Five seaside hotels within the family-owned Richardson Hotels business in the South West of England have gone into administration owing money to the taxman.
Mark Boughey and Matthew Wild from RSM Restructuring Advisory have been appointed joint administrators of Richardson Hotels Limited and Fowey Hotel Limited, which are both subsidiaries of Richardson Hotels Holdings.
The 46-bedroom Grosvenor hotel in Torquay, which will be relaunched on 2 February as the John Burton-Race Restaurant with Rooms, is not included in the administration. A major and costly refurbishment of the hotel, with the addition of four bedrooms, has taken place in a bid to shake of its infamous reputation when the hotel was run by Mark Jenkins and appeared on Channel 4's reality show The Hotel, prior to its acquisition by Richardson Hotels in 2012
The hotels now under administration include the 132-bedroom Grand hotel in Torquay, Devon; the 71-bedroom Falmouth hotel in Falmouth, Cornwall; and 58-bedroom Metropole hotel in Padstow, Cornwall; which all sat within Richardson Hotels Limited; alongside Fowey Hotel Limited's 52-bedroom Royal Beacon hotel in Exmouth, Devon; and 37-bedroom Fowey hotel in Fowey, Cornwall. All, except the unrated Royal Beacon hotel, hold four AA stars.
Administrators were appointed due to cashflow problems following a period of capital expenditure and investment in the properties. The company was unable to agree a repayment plan with the taxman, which resulted in HMRC issuing winding up petitions against it.
Richardson Hotel is believed to have sought the protection of an administration order "to secure some breathing space and assess options".
The five hotels will continue to trade while the administrators assess future options.
Boughey said: "All of the hotels offer enviable locations, architecture and facilities, so their rooms are in high demand from both existing and new customers. Whilst things are at an early stage, we are therefore hopeful that a long-term future for of all the hotels can be secured.
"In the first instance, we would ask any customers and suppliers to raise their initial questions or enquiries directly to the hotels, booking agent or usual contact point at the companies."
Richardson Hotels was founded by chairman of the company, Keith Richardson. According to documents lodged at Companies House, Richardson Hotels Limited achieved a 7.9% increase in turnover to £10.9m in the year to 31 March 2017, with a 54% fall in pre-tax profit to £550,443.
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