Further rises for number of distressed pub, hotel sales

The number of pubs, restaurants and hotels that have been sold over the last six months has jumped by 189 per cent, according to property agents Christie & Co.

The number of distressed hotel businesses sold over that period has increased by 88 per cent compared to the same period last year. Also recording a dramatic increase was the distressed restaurant sale sector, which notched up a 67 per cent rise.

Steve Rodell, he... Continue Reading

Small businesses to benefit from new government measures

The government has announced its intentions to create an 'entrepreneurial decade,' in which it will be made easier for small firms to do business.

A series of measures aimed at assisting small businesses were announced at a summit attended by Business Secretary Vince Cable, Business Minister Mark Prisk, Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude and Lord Young, who has been appointed the new enterprise tsar.

Young ... Continue Reading

Mystery sale of equestrian estate denied

A Scottish aristocrat said he was stunned to find his estate and equestrian centre advertised for sale for £16.5 million.

Lord Rowallan said the Rowallan Activity Centre on the outskirts of Kilmarnock was definitely not for sale, despite two detailed adverts on the property sites Zoopla and Rightmove.

The 62-year-old peer, otherwise known as Johnny Corbett, runs the business with his wife, Claire. On being told that i... Continue Reading

333 pubs and restaurants to be sold following shareholder vote

Three hundred and thirty-three establishments are to be put onto the market by pub and restaurant operator Mitchells & Butlers.

Following a vote by shareholders at a general meeting held at the Institution of Engineering and Technology in Savoy Place, London, Mitchells & Butlers announced that the pubs and certain associated assets are to be sold to Stonegate Pub Company Ltd.

The vote was overwhelmingly in favour of th... Continue Reading

Local residents concerned as furniture firm seeks buyers

The administrators of a Lancashire-based furniture business are desperately seeking buyers for the buildings and attached land.

The 160-year-old furniture making business, HJ Berry, specialised in using native, mainly locally grown timber for its chairs and won awards for its environmentally-friendly approach.

The firm, which was based in the small village of Chipping, fell into administration in February of this year. ... Continue Reading

Plymouth civic centre up for sale

Plymouth City Council has put its civic centre up for sale due to the prohibitive costs involved in its restoration and maintenance.

The 15-storey paradigm of 1960s architecture was listed in 2007, but is, according to the council, "seriously corroded" and in need of major structural work. The council had attempted to have it demolished three years ago, but a campaign by the Twentieth Century Society thwarted those plans by managing... Continue Reading

Spending review impacts on small businesses

Prior to the unveiling of the long awaited spending review today, almost a fifth of small businesses said they were pessimistic about the future due to the feared impact of the spending cuts.

The Forum of Private Business (FPB) released a survey of its members showing that many of them were extremely concerned about the review's impact on their businesses – a rise from 10 per cent who reported the same feelings in July.
... Continue Reading

Data service company falls into administration

GuideStar Data Services CIC has fallen into administration, just seven months after it was assimilated into the Directory of Social Change.

The community interest company, which was established to sell pools of data gathered from the GuideStar website, has had ongoing financial problems for some time and finally admitted defeat and placed itself into administration last week.

The Data Service's database comprised mo... Continue Reading

Small company assistance proposals welcomed

The package of measures unveiled by the Business Finance Taskforce this week to help small firms with financing options from banks has been warmly welcomed by business leaders.

The seventeen proposals - which were drawn up by leading bank chiefs and the British Bankers Association - include new ideas that include a network of Dragons’ Den-style mentors and setting up a £1.5 billion Business Growth Fund.

The fund will ... Continue Reading

Edinburgh hotel on the market

Allison House Hotel in Mayfield Gardens on the south side of Edinburgh has been put up for sale after its owners decided to retire.

The B-listed hotel forms part of an impressive Victorian terrace of town house properties and, whilst it has long been established as a private hotel, it currently trades on a bed and breakfast basis.

The 4-star accommodation, which was fully refurbished in 2007, comprises 11 bedrooms – a... Continue Reading

Punch Taverns likely to sell 1,300 pubs

More than 1,300 of the 6,700 pubs owned by Punch Taverns are likely to be sold or closed over the next few years.

The pub owner's new boss, Ian Dyson, said the group had identified the pubs as having no 'long-term viability.'

Finance director Phil Dutton, said, “These pubs don't feel like they have a viable, sustainable profit level. Many of them are trading reasonably well today, but we feel their... Continue Reading

Leeds lawyers expand internationally with Spanish purchase

A Leeds law firm is building its international foothold for itself with the purchase of an established Spanish law firm.

In buying Madrid-based L&E Solución Legal and Empresarial, Irwin Mitchell is proving that expansion through the buying up of companies does not have to remain a domestic enterprise.

The new acquisition adds to the company's existing operations in Madrid and Malaga and will see L&E's team of... Continue Reading

Small companies gaining greater access to credit

Small businesses had much easier access to credit in the third quarter of this year, according to figures from the Bank of England.

From the survey of UK lenders, the Bank suggested that restrictions on borrowing are doing less to hamper companies than first thought. The survey showed more lenders reporting increased access to credit than a decline, giving a balance of 27 per cent, up from a balance of 13 per cent in second quarter, ... Continue Reading

The time is right for IT acquisitions

The recent flurry of major tech sector acquisitions is a sign of the benefits of counter-intuitive investment.

IT services firm Wipro's head of technology, Deepak Jain, has said that deals such as HP's buying of 3PAR and ArcSight, and Intel's purchase of McAfee, show that investing when you do not necessarily need to is perhaps the absolute best time to buy.

“We spoke to a large financial institution t... Continue Reading

Receiver puts three repossessed properties up for sale

Three properties in Belfast and Larne, which were repossessed by Anglo Irish Bank from a leading Northern Irish developer, have now been put up for sale.

In May of this year AIB appointed a receiver for the properties: two office blocks in Belfast and a Larne retail park, owned by Dungannon-based Jermon Developments.

The property in Larne is the Lahara retail park, totalling 63,000 sq ft and situated near the Lidl super... Continue Reading