Buyer for collapsed hotel group
Flodrive Group, one of the UK’s biggest private investors, has struck a deal with the administrator of London and Edinburgh Swallow Group to buy a portfolio of nearly 250 tenanted and managed pubs and hotels. It is understood that Flodrive and its investment partners have paid over £1 million to take over the leases on the properties. Flodrive already owned the freehold rights to the properties. – The Times, 16 September.
Mothers in revolt over healthy school dinners
Two Yorkshire mothers are running junk food into a school claiming that the "kids need a bit of fat in their diet." Julie Critchlow and Sam Walker deliver fish and chips, pies, and burgers to children at Rawmarsh Comprehensive in Rotherham every day because they claim the youngsters are sick of "low-fat rubbish". One of the mothers said kids need a bit of fat in their diet and there is nothing wrong with burgers and chips. – Yorkshire Post, 16 September.
Conran pockets £30m from restaurant sale
Sir Terence Conran has reaped more than £30m after selling a 49% stake in Conran Restaurants to management in a deal valuing the business at £50m. – The Times, 16 September.
Punch buys rival pub group for £164m
Punch Taverns, Britain’s biggest pub group, has acquired Mill House Inns in a £164m deal that values the 60% stake held by management at about £20m. – The Times, 16 September.
Religious tourism set to treble in Scotland
Religious tourism to Scotland is set to treble in the next decade. Building on the success of the Rosslyn Chapel in Lothian, which has seen visitor numbers rocket since it featured in The Da Vinci Code, other sites can expect several hundred thousand more visitors in years. At present, religious tourism to Scotland is valued at £80m-£100m. – Sunday Herald, 17 September.
Barracuda pub chain announce £35m expansion plan
The chief executive of Barracuda, one of the UK's fastest-growing pub chains, has revealed a £35m expansion plan that will double the value of the group to £500m within five years. The group, set up in July 2000, wants to double the portfolio of pubs in Scotland by the end of 2007. – Scotland on Sunday, 17 September.
New hotel chain will build a hotel in seven days
A £20m nationwide roll-out of a “business friendly” chain begins this week with the opening of a hotel in Dumfries. Hotelier Paresh Kotecha claims his latest venture, Aston Hotels, aims to bridge the gap between top-end and budget. Kotecha said the hotel outer walls will be built in seven days, and will have 100 soundproof bedrooms, which come ready-built as pods. – Scotland on Sunday, 17 September.