• Thistle hires as new owner takes helm

The new boss at Thistle Hotels, Tim Scoble, who only took up the reins at the start of this month, has swooped on a new CFO. It is a return to the hotel sector for Mike O'Mahoney, who had previously worked with Scoble at Little Chef but prior to that had been with Queens Moat Houses.

The move comes as Thistle, which recently saw Malaysian tycoon Quek Leng Chan take control of parent company BIL, plans to introduce casinos in up to 16 of its properties.

BIL Gaming, a subsidiary of Thistle's parent BIL, has applied to open 16 casinos at different Thistles including ones at Thistle Victoria, Thistle Hyde Park and Thistle Marble Arch.

Guoco Group, the company controlled by Quek Leng Chan and through which he took just over a 50% stake in BIL last October, announced last week supplementary information regarding its acquisition of Thistle.

The 17 properties in the business that are owned or leased were valued by Christie & Co as having a market value of £726.65m as at October 21. Four of the hotels – the Cumberland, the Selfridge, Thistle Edinburgh and Thistle Hyde Park – were deemed to have a nil value due to their short leasehold status.

Last year, Guoco also announced that revenue at Thistle had fallen from £40.7m to £36.2m for the three months July to September. The company said that the main cause was the London bombs but that since October revenue was showing year-on-year growth.

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