Nineteen of the Von Essen hotels now under offer

by Janet Harmer , Friday 2nd September 2011 17:15

Nineteen of the 28 Von Essen hotels which were put up for sale following the collapse of the company in April are now under offer.

Christie & Co, the property company which has been marketing the hotels, said that the buyers of the hotels included a number of high net-worth individuals and experienced operators.

It is believed the successful bidder for the five luxury family hotels, including Fowey Hall in Cornwall, the Ickworth in Suffolk, Moonfleet Manor in Dorset, Woolley Grange in Wiltshire and the Elms in Worcestershire, is Nigel Chapman, who with his business partner, Nicholas Dickinson, sold the first four hotels to Von Essen for about £30m in early 2006. The combined asking price of the five properties was £27.5m.

Also under offer are the two most expensively priced properties within the portfolio - Cliveden, in Taplow, Berkshire, at £41m, and the Royal Crescent in Bath at £22.5m.

The hotels which are still looking for buyers include:

Sharrow Bay, Cumbria (guide price: £5m)
Thornbury Castle, South Gloucestershire (£5m)
Ynyshir Hall, Powys (£1m)
Seaham Hall, County Durham (£5m)
Callow Hall, Derbyshire (£1.6m)
Congham Hall, Norfolk (£3m)
Dalhousie Castle, Edinburgh (£5m)
Homewood Park, Bath (£3.5m)

All prices are for the freehold tenure, with the exception of Sharrow Bay which is freehold/leasehold. Congham Hall remains the subject of substantial building work which will increase its bedroom total from 14 to 24 and add a swimming pool and spa.

Offers of around £6m are also being sought for the freehold interest of Château de Bagnols in France.

Chris Day, managing director of Christie & Co said that the Von Essen portfolio had attracted a great deal of interest, both nationally and internationally.

"Whilst portfolio interest was received, it was decided that the route to best value was through a sale on a sub-group and individual basis," he said. "The hotels that have not yet received acceptable offers have been reduced in price and will be immediately relaunched to the market - this is quite typical in multi-asset disposals such as this."

Christie & Co would not reveal the names of prospective buyers, the structure of any sub-groups, nor the price level of offers received.

Earlier this week, Christie & Co announced the sale of Hotel Verta in Battersea, London, for around £20m. The 70-bedroom property was not included in the originally administration of Von Essen Hotels, which collapsed with debts of more than £250m. It remained under the ownership of the founder of Von Essen, Andrew Davis, until going into administration in July.

Cliveden tops the price tag on Von Essen Hotels >>

Founder of Luxury Family Hotels makes Von Essen bid >>

By Janet Harmer

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