Administrators appointed to second Signature Living hotel

UK: Matthew Ingram and Michael Lennon of Duff and Phelps have been appointed as joint administrators to Bedford Hotel Limited, which is opening as the George Best Hotel in Belfast.

Part of the Signature Living Group, the hotel will feature 83 rooms all themed around one of the city’s most famous sons, the footballer George Best.

Duff and Phelps said that advance bookings and reservations “remain unaffected”.

Lennon said: “The renovation of the hotel is in the latter stages of completion and is due to be launched later this year. In order to protect its investment and provide a platform from which the hotel can be completed, Lyell Trading Limited have taken steps to appoint the joint administrators. We recognise the value of the George Best Hotel as a finished development and trading hotel. In so far as it is possible, advance bookings and reservations remain unaffected. We will be exploring all options with the current funders to maximise its value and ultimately the return to creditors.”

The move follows the appointment of the same administrators to Signature Living’s Signature Shankly Hotel Limited, which is the leaseholder for The Shankly Hotel in Liverpool, earlier this month.

Lennon added: “Like Signature Shankly Limited, we are aware that there are a number of bedroom investors that have paid deposits, we will be contacting all investors at the earliest opportunity to confirm our appointment and gather further information.”

Duff and Phelps confirmed that part of its role will be to investigate how investors’ money has been spent by the company prior to the appointment. It also confirmed that there will be no “fire sale” of the Signature Shankly hotel, adding that the hotel itself is a “quality venue” and as such they will work with the lenders and investors to “carefully consider a strategy to ensure the “best outcome” for those that are owed money”.

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