Founder of Liverpool developer and hotel operator Signature Living, Lawrence Kenwright, tells the BBC that investors are ‘going to have to trust me’. Tony McDonough reports
Overseas investors who have handed over millions of pounds to Liverpool hotel developer and operator Signature Living have travelled to the UK to ask for their money back, the BBC is reporting.
Signature, founded by Lawrence Kenwright, has built up a portfolio of properties in Liverpool and further afield in a major expansion drive over the past few years. Its assets include the 30 James Street, Shankly and Dixie Dean hotels in Liverpool city centre.
Much of this development was funded by overseas investors, many of them from Europe and the Far East, who were expecting generous returns on their investments. However, individuals quoted in the report say those returns have not materialised and they have travelled to the UK to ask for their money back.
Mr Kenwright told the BBC in response that Signature was unable to repay its investors at the current time adding that “any bit of spare money that the company has goes on the building sites”. He added: “I’m doing my best. They’re going to have to trust me.”
One investor, Susanne Grampe from Germany, is looking to recoup £110,000 from the company. She is quoted as saying: “It’s just an appalling way to treat investors. I’m devastated.”
In September, Mr Kenwright said he was looking to raise extra funds by putting 30 James Street and the Shankly Hotel on the market with a combined price tag of £51m. And, earlier this month, he told LBN that the delay to Brexit was having a “devastating” effect on the hotel and property sectors.
Another investor, an individual from Taiwan, also travelled to Liverpool to speak to Mr Kenwright, the BBC report said. He claims he was told the money would be repaid but has so far received nothing. He said: “Originally it looked like a good deal… I feel very, very worried. I’m worried our money will be gone one day.”
LBN has attempted to contact Signature Living.