Von Essen, lets hope the end is nearly in sight….

At the time of writing this The Times had just pipped me to the post on naming that the owners of Chewton Glen had purchased not one, but both the jewels in the crown of the crumbling Von Essen empire. Catey Hotelier of the year Andrew Stembridge will, as Managing Director for the exclusive Hampshire hotel oversee Cliveden and the much sort after Royal Crescent in Bath. London & Regional who own ‘The Glen’ is the group owned by the Livingston Brothers, which have been investing in the Hampshire property in recent times with the arrival of Andrew du Bourg (formerly of Club Gascon, The Wolseley & The Square) to head up the re-launched Vetiver restaurant.

Other names that seem to be concreted with Von Essen properties are Sir Peter Rigby’s purchase of The Greenway in Cheltenham and Mr Andrew Brownsword’s acquisition of  four Relais & Chateaux properties & possibly Washbourne Court. However it seems that not all of the stricken group’s properties are wanted at the initial asking prices. According to The Times business correspondent Dominic Walsh on Twitter;

Big price cuts on some of the unsold Von Essen hotels. Seaham Hall slashed from £12.5m to £5m and Chateau de Bagnols from £11m to £6m.

During this long drawn out process there were recurring stories surfacing that Mr Davis was looking for a return to power. At one stage he was involved with a company called Templewood investments & then a company called Netherwood but both of these connections seem to have evaporated. Ernst and Young have played a heavy hand with Mr Davis, firstly refusing him permission to land at Llangoed Hall with potential suitors and then placing his prized Hotel Verta into administration. In retaliation he locked them out of the function suite as I’m lead to believe the heliport owns it rather than the hotel. Not that Mr Davis has a vengeful streak in him at all, one of the rumours I’ve been told repeatedly is when one of the banks refused to lend him any more money for his expansion, he barred them from using his London heliport. Causing them to land at Stanstead and drive into central London.

Obviously I have to state that this is merely all speculation as the various purchasers have had to sign confidentiality agreements concerning the purchases of Von Essen properties.


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