Free Trade Hall owner in administration

The owner of the Free Trade Hall building in Manchester has been placed into administration.

Matt Dunham and Les Ross of Grant Thornton UK LLP were appointed joint administrative receivers of Free Trade Hall Hotel on 4 August.

The company holds the long leasehold interest in the property which houses the Radisson Edwardian Hotel.

Stephen Barker, Free Trade Hall Hotel director, said in a statement: "The hotel is operating as normal and is generating strong cashflows. We have seen real growth in room rates and occupancy throughout 2011 and expect this trend to continue. As such we are surprised by the decision taken by the Lloyds Banking Group (Bank of Scotland PLC).

"Free Trade Hall Hotel Ltd was days away from fully refinancing the asset and all bank debt has been serviced throughout, ensuring no cost to the bank in continuing to support the hotel."

The hotel is operated by Edwardian Management Services under a long term hotel management agreement which is unaffected by the appointment.

The receivers will be working with Edwardian Management Services to ensure it can continue to operate the hotel as normal.

Neither Edwardian Management Services, nor any of its associated companies are subject to the appointment.

The receivers will be seeking a sale of the property.

Paul Mansi, chief operating officer of Radisson Edwardian Hotels, said: "Sadly the company which owns the Free Trade Hall Hotel has had administrative receivers appointed by its bank which made loans secured on the building.

"The receivers have confirmed that they do not intend their appointment to impact on the ongoing successful operation of the hotel, which Radisson Edwardian continues to manage as an extremely robust business operating above its projected business targets.

"The staff at the hotel have been given the news and have been reassured that their jobs are not at risk through this process and that new job opportunities will continue to arise at the hotel.

"Radisson Edwardian Group has a long term contract to operate the hotel and we are confident this will continue under the new ownership. We and the receivers do not envisage any impact on hotel staff, suppliers or on the fine level of service we continue to deliver to our valued customers.

"Customers will not be aware of any changes, or have any disruption to bookings. Indeed it really is business as usual for the hotel."

Dunham, joint administrator at Grant Thornton UK, added: "The Radisson Edwardian has established itself as one of Manchester's premier hotels and we expect there to be significant interest from potential purchasers."

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