• Beetham shores up estate

The acquisition of the Radisson Blu Hotel Liverpool and Hilton Manchester Deansgate by Cypriot businessman Loucas Louca has eased the complex series of administrations around the Beetham Organisation.

The hotels were sold by KPMG, which was appointed as joint administrator to Beetham Hotels Liverpool Ltd and Beetham Hotels Manchester earlier this year. However, the administration related to the companies that operated the hotels, not the company that owned them or the wider Beetham Organisation, leaving the group relatively unscathed.

Rezidor Hotel Group and Hilton Worldwide will continue to flag the hotels, bringing a period of uncertainty to an end.

Beetham Organisation, which grew rapidly in the last upturn, has issues across its estate, the most high profile of which is the Beetham Tower London development. The £600m project, which was set to include a hotel, was put into administration by RBS last October when the group had a disagreement with its Russian development partners.

However, Beetham was reported to be negotiating with the administrators to take back the project, which would be good news for Jumeirah, which was due to operate the 261-room hotel.

 

HA Perspective: Beetham's rapid rise and fall has been echoed across the property development sector, with the group's taste for large towers named after itself reminiscent of the actions in the US of Donald Trump. Like Trump, the group has suffered in the downturn, but, like Trump, careful use of individually-structured groups within the company has meant that it has been able to stay upright when some of its foundations have wobbled.

Unlike Trump, however, Beetham has not become a household name. Maybe the next property bubble will afford that opportunity.

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