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Von Essen Hotels Group to sell £200m worth of Hotels

6 June 2011

Christie & Co have been instructed to sell 26 hotels in the Von Essen Group. They have put them on the market with a guide price in excess of £200m for the whole portfolio. Christies have said the venues fall into the categories of classic, luxury family and country hotels.  Jeremy Jones, group director of corporate hotels at Christie & Co has asked for final bids by mid July

This is the full list;

• Amberley Castle, near Arundel, West Sussex

• Buckland Manor, Near Broadway, Gloucestershire

• Cliveden, Taplow, Berkshire

• Lower Slaughter Manor, Lower Slaughter, Gloucestershire

• The Royal Crescent, Bath

• The Samling, Windermere, Cumbria

• Sharrow Bay, Ullswater, Cumbria

• Ston Easton Park, near Bath

• Thornbury Castle, near Bristol

• Ynyshir Hall, Machynlleth, Powys, Wales

• Seaham Hall, Seaham, County Durham

• The Elms, Worcester

• Fowey Hall, Fowey, Cornwall

• Ickworth, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk

• Moonfleet Manor, Weymouth, Dorset

• Woolley Grange, Bradford upon Avon, Wiltshire

• Bishopstrow House, Warminster, Wiltshire

• Callow Hall, Ashbourne, Derbyshire

• Congham Hall, King's Lynn, Norfolk

• Dalhousie Castle, Bonnyrigg, Midlothian

• The Greenway, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

• Homewood Park, Bath

• Lewtrenchard Manor, Okehampton, Devon

• The Mount Somerset, Taunton, Somerset

• New Park Manor, Brockenhurst, Hampshire

• Washbourne Court, Lower Slaughter, Gloucestershire

Obviously, selling assets is a fast way to get cash out of the business.  However an urgent sale is unlikely to achieve the same price when compared to if they were to be sold on the open market in the event that Von Essen were solvent.  Von Essen Hotels had a debt of some £250m.

Meanwhile the administrators at Ernst & Young reported to the Police that there were financial irregularities at the firm. According to The Times today, accountants found turnover was £53m not the £74.2m as stated in the annual report and underlying profits were only £8m instead of the stated £24.9m..