G1 Group’s Biggest Single Venue Purchase Made In Their 27 Year History… The Scotsman Hotel

Following an agreement concluded yesterday, an Edinburgh institution will once more be brought under Scottish ownership with the G1 Group acquiring The Scotsman Hotel on North Bridge. The complex deal for the acquisition of the hotel was brokered between representatives of the G1 Group, JLL Hotels & Hospitality Group and CBRE Hotels, who had been appointed to market the hotel following the appointment of Eileen Blackburn of French Duncan LLP as liquidator in June 2016.

Formerly under the ownership of JJW Hotels, part of the MBI Group, the 69 bedroom property is being sold to G1 independent of the brasserie and spa facilities which are under separate ownership. Over 90 employees currently working across the Hotel and F&B areas of the business will transfer to G1 in connection with the acquisition. G1 is committed to providing appropriate opportunities, including opportunities within other G1 venues in Edinburgh, to all of the staff who will be transferring over. To that end, it will be working to ensure they are all supported throughout the process.

The G1 Group, which operates exclusively in Scotland, is most heavily represented in the central belt, and has a reputation in Edinburgh and elsewhere for sensitive renewal of buildings of significant historical interest, most recently announcing the purchase of the former Odeon Cinema on Clerk Street. The Group also operates four other hotels in Edinburgh, including the Grassmarket, Stay Central and Murrayfield Hotels, and the 4-star boutique Inn on the Mile Hotel on the Royal Mile.

Brian McGhee, Chairman at G1 Group said “Buying anything out of liquidation is a difficult process for all concerned, and we cannot commend Eileen Blackburn and David McGinness of French Duncan enough for their professionalism throughout, in their ability through their rapport with the hotel team to retain a significant amount of goodwill from both patrons and staff members, at a very difficult time for both.”

G1’s Managing Director Stefan King is clear in terms of the importance of the acquisition to the Group as a leading component of the hotel division, cementing the success and positive relationship G1 hotels and other venues have enjoyed in Edinburgh over the last 12 years. Since G1 seeks to have outlets which are responsive to and reflect what their customers want, the venues all have their own identities, and there is possibly relatively little awareness of the extent of G1’s presence in, and commitment to Edinburgh.

Eileen Blackburn of French Duncan is quite open that this is one of the most challenging liquidations she has encountered, and recognises the key support of her legal team in particular Nicola Ross and Iain Young of Morton Fraser LLP along with the marketing teams at JLL and CBRE in a very complicated process. Sharing her thoughts she said “To bring it to a successful conclusion for the business, the dedicated staff, and ultimately for the creditors, with a very strong group to take the hotel to new heights, is what you aspire to as an Insolvency Practitioner.”

Stefan King added “We have enjoyed huge support from Edinburgh City Council, the patrons and the teams employed in our Edinburgh venues over the years. The acquisition of The Scotsman Hotel is a significant reflection of a continued commitment to the City, and to the creation of further opportunities for the Group and its employees. We aspire to build on the iconic presence and reputation of The Scotsman Hotel to be at the forefront of hotel venues in the City.”