Former Dragon heads West to snap up last of luxury Von Essen hotel group

September 6, 2012

The final hotel in the Von Essen’s portfolio, the upmarket Ston Easton Park near Shepton Mallet, has been sold to former Dragon’s Den investor James Caan, pictured.

The 22-bedroom hotel, a Palladian mansion turned  four-star hotel in the Mendip Hills, was sold by Christie & Co to Mr Caan’s private equity firm Hamilton Bradshaw for a reported £3m on behalf of administrators Ernst & Young.
Christie & Co director and location manager Martin Davis said: "That we were able to sell this entire group of hotels in little more than a year, and when the market conditions – including the lack of available debt finance – could at best be described as difficult, is symptomatic of the fact that there will always be a market for high quality assets like those on the von Essen Hotels estate.
"We've thoroughly enjoyed working with the administrators Ernst & Young on this process and wish all the new owners well with their new business acquisitions."
Bath-based Von Essen went into administration in April 2011 with debts of nearly £300m. 

At the time it owned 28 prestige hotels in the UK and France, including Bishopstrow, near Warminster, and Woolley Grange, near Bradford-on-Avon, as well as Bath's iconic Royal Crescent Hotel. It also owned Cliveden in Buckinghamshire, the former country house famous for its role in the Profumo scandal of the 1960s.


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