Signature Living company collapses with debts of £113m

Administrators say Signature Living Hotel Ltd, the largest of 60 different companies which form the wider Signature Living Group, was likely to be dissolved. Tony McDonough reports

Lawrence Kenwright
Lawrence Kenwright on the roof of the 30 James Street Hotel

 

Creditors of hotel company Signature Living Hotel are owed more than £113m, administrators have said, with the company unlikely to be sold as a going concern.

Administrators Duff & Phelps say Signature Living Hotel Ltd, the largest of 60 different companies which form the wider Signature Living Group, has collapsed with debts of more than £113m. It is the sixth company of the group to collapse.

Signature was founded by married couple Lawrence and Katie Kenwright and opened the 30 James Street, Shankly hotels in Liverpool, as well as a number of other residential and hotel developments.

A year ago, Signature put both 30 James Street and the Shankly up for sale with a combined price tag of £57m as it looked to raise funds for the wider group. The company that owned the leasehold on the Shankly Hotel, Signature Shankly Ltd, collapsed in April.

This was followed by the collapse of individual entities covering 30 James Street, hotel schemes in Belfast and Cardiff, and residential developments including the 60 Old Hall Street scheme in Liverpool’s commercial district.

Last week LBN reported that a new operator had taken over the running of the 30 James Street Hotel. The Grade II-listed building was formerly the headquarters of the White Star shipping line, owner of the Titanic.

In a report, Matthew Ingram and Michael Lennon of Duff & Phelps, say they believe a going concern sale of Signature Living Hotel is now unlikely as there are “insufficient funds and assets available to enable the company to be rescued”.

They add: “Despite the group’s significant property interests, the level of secured and unsecured indebtedness to which the company is directly and indirectly liable for significantly outweighs the initial expectations of the value of the company’s direct and indirect assets.”

The collapsed business owes a combined £65m to other entities within the Signature Group as well as a further £28m to other external creditors. The company also owes £10m to retail investors who bought individual hotel rooms.

Duff & Phelps expects the administration proceedings for Signature Living Hotel to take longer than 12 months, saying it was “not in a position to provide an update on the company’s assets”, but anticipates that the company will be dissolved as a result of the proceedings.

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