Luxury Birmingham hotels Malmaison and Hotel du Vin have issued a defiant ‘business as normal’ pledge – as would-be buyers encircle the upmarket chains.
Scores of employees at the two city centre venues have been rocked by the announcement from parent organisation MWB Group Holdings that it was to collapse into administration.
Shares were suspended in MWB Group Holdings amid reports that it had been unable to resolve a dispute with its subsidiary, the office space provider MWB Business Exchange, to which it is said to owe £8 million.
In an emergency statement issued following the announcement of the appointment of administrators Deloitte, MWB Group Holdings said: “In the absence of any other available facilities to the company from its existing lenders or elsewhere, the company is, or will shortly be, unable to meet its liabilities as they fall due.
“The board of the company has therefore concluded that, in such circumstances, the appointment of administrators is the most appropriate course of action.”
One report said by the end of last year, MWB, which owns 26 hotels across the Malmaison and Hotel du Vin brands, had piled up debts of more than £200 million.
But in a new statement, Malmaison and Hotel du Vin chief executive Gary Davis said: “The Malmaison and Hotel du Vin businesses have great brands and we continue to invest in the estate. We have a talented team who provide high standards of service, performed well this year and we continue to see improvements in trading.
“Occupancy continues to improve with resilient room rates and recent management initiatives continue to deliver growth and margin improvements. We look forward to an exciting Christmas season and a successful 2013.”
The statement added that sales and profits were 14 per cent ahead on a like for like basis over the last four months. One report said potential buyers for Malmaison and Hotel du Vin included private equity bidders such as Moor Park Capital Partners.