Gary Hack and Nigel Robinson decided they wanted to run their own Guest House business and started to look for a suitable property. They had no idea how difficult it would be. After looking at a number of properties, they eventually found, and fell in love with, Ivybank Guest House in Blairgowrie, Perthshire.
The owners were referred to Stewart Hindley & Partners as hospitality business recovery specialists by a leading commercial property agency in Edinburgh. They were under considerable pressure from HMRC’s Late Stage Debt Resolution Collection office to make a full and immediate payment of some £400,000 in respect of their arrears, or face legal recovery action in the Sheriffs Court (with the prospect of having their assets seized to settle the debt). The owners were unable to make the payment so called in Stewart Hindley to manage their business recovery.
The Stewart Hindley team immediately undertook:
- a Creditors Voluntary Liquidation process to halt any further action by HMRC
- a financial restructure of their hotel business, under a new operating entity
The owners were then able to continue trading under a new structure affording them a fresh start, without the inherent, historic debt burden.
“Our professional advisors thought that our situation was unrecoverable and were unable to help. So we had nobody to turn to and faced the prospect of having to sell our hotel, which was also our our home which was part of the bank’s security.
“Stewart Hindley LLP where recommend to us as they have a track record in hotel business recovery. Without obligation we discussed our circumstances and within 48 hours they had come up with a business recovery strategy which enabled us both to secure the freehold of our hotel, release the security held by the bank over our home and to trade without any loss of business continuity. We owe them a debt of gratitude.”
If you would like to know more about our hotel business recovery services, please email us for further information.
These clients had been experiencing difficulties with the payment of VAT and PAYE due to a decline in trading and a slump drop in visitor numbers to the locality. Our clients were also under pressure from their bankers as they were in breach of their debt service covenants and as a consequence were at risk that their bank would call in their loan.
Hospitality Business Recovery specialist, Stewart Hindley LLP, was approached to liaise with HMRC with the aim of agreeing a realistic debt repayment structure based on their ability to pay down debt over an agreed period of time.
The Business Recovery Solution
Stewart Hindley assigned a Senior Partner to take direct responsibility for liaising and negotiating with HMRC to reach a consensual agreement to meet the VAT and PAYE arrears.
During this process Stewart Hindley also liaised and worked with their clientâ€™s bank on a financial restructuring solution to support their hospitality business and debt to ensure that they could meet the historic debt.
Moving forward, the business was able to meet its current and future obligations to the bank and other creditors and improve its revenue and cash flow.
“Our previous accountants had no real understanding of our trade and had failed to advise us of an appropriate trading structure should we be unable to meet our liabilities. As a consequence we almost lost our business and our home due to debt collection measures from HMRC.
Stewart Hindley resolved our situation within a matter of weeks. Without their support we would have lost everything!”.
Ian & Rena Watson relocated back to Scotland from Bermuda with the aim of capitalising on their previous experience as hotel owners and operators in Scotland by purchasing another concern.
After viewing several hotels that met their requirements they offered on the Cullen Bay Hotel in Moray. This concern offered the Watsons the opportunity to develop the trades, particularly Weddings and Functions.
The objectives were:
- To secure debt on the best hotel loan terms based on Ian and Rena being proven hotel operators, returning to the trade
- To secured the hotel finance within a 6 week period, in order to meet a completion date in time to capture the lucrative summer trading period.
Stewart Hindley & Partners:
- Carried out an in-depth analysis of the trading accounts for the concern going back over three years
- Compiled a three year profit and loss forecast and comprehensive business plan
- Made a submission to the commercial property lenders based on:
The Governments Funding for Lending Scheme
A standard variable rate hotel loan term, that met the lenders debt service criteria
Stewart Hindley & Partners set of adjusted vendors accounts restating the actual trading profit.
- Hotel loan offers were secured from two commercial property lenders with one offering 2% cash back from Governments Funding for Lending Scheme notwithstanding advantageous rates and terms for the period of the loan.
- This enabled the Watsons to complete their purchase within the stated time frame, allowing them to:
- Meet the vendor’s target completion date, as well as
- To take advantage of the lucrative summer trading period.
“Stewart Hindley & Partners worked tirelessly to ensure that our tight timescales were met despite the difficulties of the overall conveyancing process and the lenders security requirements.
“They kept us fully informed throughout the entire process and dealt with every aspect of the transaction, which included the valuation report and agreement of the goodwill and fixtures and fittings apportionment. This, in itself was complex and required a full and comprehensive understanding of taxation and allowances to ensure our best interests were met”.
Ian & Rena Watson
Cullen Bay Hotel
A Scottish Tourist Board four star, historic country house hotel, with 12 bedrooms under independent ownership. This hotel is a cinematic landmark, having been the location for the filming of the famous 1959 movie, The 39 Steps.
This proven hotel operator, with a track record of successful hotel management elsewhere in Scotland, was seeking to raise hotel finance to assist with the purchase and to maintain and develop the hotelâ€™s traditional and historic connections.
An initial meeting with Stewart Hindley & Partners ensured a real understanding of their financing requirements and analysed the advantages and disadvantages of the different hotel finance options that would be available to them given their circumstances.
Stewart Hindley & Partnersâ€™ track record in hotel lending, provided un-paralleled access to prime and specialist lenders throughout the UK ensured that the owners of the Fortingall Hotel had a funding solution that met their immediate and future mortgage funding requirements.
A decision in-principle loan offer, subject to valuation, was secured within 72 hours from receipt of the clients supporting information together with a business and marketing plan which included revenue and cash flow projections all compiled by Stewart Hindley & Partners.
A transaction date, of six weeks ahead, was set and the target date met.
Purchasing the freehold freed up enough working capital for the new owners to invest in on-going refurbishment. The Hotel has since received excellent reviews on Trip Advisor with many comments on the beauty of the building and tasteful decor.
We were recommended to Stewart Hindley by other hotel operators and key professionals within the hospitality sector . We had used other brokers in the past but all in all found these to be quite a mixed bag. First impressions were encouraging – we ran several hotel loan options through Stewart Hindley before arriving at a target purchase. Their input throughout the process was first class â€“ incisive, sharp and immediate.
Thanks to Stewart Hindley, our project won support from the banks . Their preparatory work set us on the right course with an appropriate lender. Good relationships were forged at an early stage and credible honest assessments presented on the potential of our proposed hotel investment . This helped hugely. Winning the trust and confidence of backers in the current market is the key to success and Stewart Hindley have the skills and light touch to achieve this.
Their support and interest did not dry up on completion of our deal. They have stayed with us – maintaining contact and providing encouragement . We will most certainly be considering further projects with Stewart Hindley in the near future – they have given us the confidence to grow.
Robbie Cairns, Proprietor of The Fortingall Hotel