Administration puts jobs under threat

THREE businesses owned by veteran East Anglian businessman Richard Cattermole have gone into administration, putting nearly 500 jobs at risk, it was revealed yesterday.

THREE businesses owned by veteran East Anglian businessman Richard Cattermole have gone into administration, putting nearly 500 jobs at risk, it was revealed yesterday.

The 64-year-old property tycoon's flagship hotel management business, Elizabeth Hotels Ltd, is among those involved, together with sister companies Cavendish Hotels Ltd and Elizabeth Estates (BS) Ltd.

Confirmation of the administration, from accountancy firm KPMG, came within minutes of Mr Cattermole's holding company, Ryan Elizabeth Holdings plc, surviving a winding up application at the High Court in London.

Ryan Elizabeth Holdings and Elizabeth Hotels were both listed for winding up at the Companies Court at the Royal Courts of Justice yesterday, on the application of HM Revenue & Customs.


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The judge, Mr Registrar Simmonds, dismissed the application in respect of Ryan Elizabeth Holdings at the request of Counsel for HMRC, who said the debt in question had been paid.

The application relating to Elizabeth Holdings was adjourned for a week, pending clarification of administration plans.

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Accountants and business advisors KPMG later confirmed that two members of its corporate recovery team, Allan Graham and Jane Moriarty, had been appointed on Tuesday this week as joint administrators of Elizabeth Hotels, Cavendish Hotels and Elizabeth Estates.

Together, the three companies include 14 hotels, of which 11 are company-operated and three leased to third parties, and 13 public houses, all leased out, between them employing 462 members of staff.

The administrators said all the properties were located in East Anglia and Essex and described them as being 'of mid range focus'.

Joint administrator Allan Graham said: 'The company's financial liabilities made it impossible to continue running the businesses as they stood. We will continue to trade the business in the short term whilst a buyer is sought for the hotels and pubs, individually or as a group.'

He added that the administrators were aware that a number of customer deposits had been paid in respect of events to be held at the hotels over the festive period. These were currently being reviewed but it was hoped that they could be honoured 'as far as circumstances permit'.

Four hotels operated by the companies will continue to trade in other group companies outside of the administration. The employees that worked in these hotels, as well six employees employed by Elizabeth Hotels at the group's central office, transferred to other group companies prior to the administration appointment.

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