Administrator Kroll has instructed CBRE to find a buyer for the 125-bedroom Liverpool venue that was put into administration last April and previously owned by Signature Group.
The hotel is set over seven storeys on an island site fronting Victoria Street, Whitechapel and Crosshall in the city centre.
Following its phased opening between 2015 to 2019, the hotel has “surpassed trading expectations”, agency CBRE said, capitalising on group booking packages, a distinct USP in the marketplace and has consistently beaten Liverpool’s average hotel performance over the last three years.
The hotel was the setting for a BBC show in 2020, called The Grand Party Hotel. It is described as a “lifestyle branded and football themed hotel comprising 57 hotel bedrooms and 68 apartment-style bedrooms with kitchen facilities, sleeping approximately 662 guests in total”.
It has a 111-space underground car park and a fully fitted gym leased by Liverpool City Council under its Lifestyles brand. There is also a food and beverage offer in the Bastion Bar and Restaurant, and two function and events venues that can accommodate up to 500 seated delegates or over 1,000 standing guests.
Shaun Skidmore, senior director for operational real estate at CBRE Manchester said: “Liverpool is the sixth most visited city in the UK with a strong performing hotel market. There is pent up demand for this kind of hotel which can accommodate groups of people keen to unite when restrictions allow.
“While post-Covid domestic holidays continue to appeal, we expect the UK outlook in 2021 to remain strong with CBRE expecting the hotel sector to fully recover by 2024.
“As such, the Shankly Hotel represents an excellent opportunity for a keen investor to acquire a consistently high performing hotel with a national profile and a range of additional revenue streams and further development potential.”
Matthew Ingram and Michael Lennon of Kroll, formerly Duff & Phelps, were appointed as joint administrators last April.
Lennon said: “The Signature Shankly hotel is a quality venue, in an excellent location. Pre-pandemic, it would see around 700 people check in on a Friday night and its unique offering to larger groups makes it a popular selection. During the last 12 months, trading under the various pandemic restrictions has been strong. Everyone is confident that the hotel will return to pre-COVID levels of trade once restrictions are lifted.”
The hotel’s original developer remains active elsewhere. Last week, Signature’s founder Lawrence Kenwright said that he expects to lodge a recovery plan with administrators “within weeks” as the UK hospitality sector reopens.
In a statement, Kenwright said he had been working closely with his creditors to regain control of the property side of the Signature Living Group business, the operational side of which remains unaffected.
Kenwright has been restructuring Signature Living under a company, UK Accommodation Group, with a new board that includes representation from his unsecured creditors. The board is chaired by Thomas Scullion.
Signature Living said that following February’s announcement that more than 95% of its largest group of unsecured creditors are backing efforts to bring the company out of administration, a further 98 per cent of the last remaining group of unsecured creditors are supporting the effort.
Kenwright said: “Having invited my investors into the business, the UKAGL board and I are working hard on pulling together a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) with the backing of the vast majority of our investors and funders and I’m confident that we’ll submit that plan within weeks.
“We are in regular contact with our funders who are very supportive. They know that this process cannot happen overnight. This is a long game which supports all secured and unsecured investors and they are prepared to stay the course.”
Kenwright said in a statement today on behalf of UK Accommodation Group and Signature Living: “As of last Monday it is, at long last, business as usual and our team is back to doing what it does best, namely giving all our guests the best possible Liverpool welcome.
“For complete clarity, the Shankly Hotel’s current and future guests, as well as its suppliers and staff are not affected by this development, nor by the marketing of the hotel for sale. The administration relates to the bricks and mortar and not to operations.
“We remain in positive and regular contact with our first charge lenders, our investors and the administrators regarding a Company Voluntary Arrangement process which is now well underway. The CVA process has the support of more than 95% of our unsecured creditors and would see us coming out of administration and re-acquiring the sites which have been affected by it.”
Kenwright has progressed projects elsewhere, opening the Dixie Dean Hotel in Liverpool and Rainhill Hall, while its redevelopment of Liverpool’s Kingsway House and a seond Shankly Hotel, in Preston, will both open partially within the next few months.