Jobs saved as buyer found for Holiday Inn sites in Aberdeen

Administrators for two Holiday Inn hotels in Aberdeen have found a buyer for the venues, safeguarding 125 jobs.

The sale to Cairn Group has secured 125 jobs in Aberdeen. Picture: Steven Scott Taylor

The hotels, previously owned by European Development Company (EDC), have been acquired by Cairn Group, a Newcastle-based chain that has 31 sites across the UK, including the Station Hotel in Aberdeen, Cairn Hotel in Edinburgh and Stirling’s The Highland Hotel.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Along with the 86-room Holiday Inn Aberdeen Westhill, Cairn has bought the 155-room Holiday Inn Express Aberdeen City Centre on the city’s Chapel Street for an undisclosed sum.

Richard Warren, Cairn’s finance director, said: “Aberdeen is still a busy thoroughfare for the corporate audience and as a result the convenient locations of the hotels make them popular with visiting trade as well as tourism.

“It’s fantastic we’ve been able to retain all of the staff based at the two sites.”

He added: “We know Aberdeen very well and have a strong existing relationship with [Holiday Inn brand owner] InterContinental Hotels Group, so we are confident we can turn around the fortune of the hotels as the regional market recovers. We’re looking forward to doing more business here and investing in the economy.”

FRP Advisory partners Iain Fraser and Tom MacLennan were appointed as joint administrators for EDC in November after the Aberdeen-based company fell victim to “severe cash flow problems” sparked by the downturn in the oil and gas sector, along with “intense” price competition from new entrants to the Granite City’s hotel market.

EDC, which was founded in 2007, had also run the 161-bedroom Holiday Inn Express on Edinburgh’s Picardy Place, which was sold to International Hotel Properties in January for almost £18 million.

FRP’s Fraser said: “We are delighted to have secured the sale of the Aberdeen Westhill and Aberdeen City hotels to the Cairn Group. The administration period provided a vital cushion to allow for a thorough marketing process while the hotels continued to trade as normal.

“We are pleased to have secured the future of these two important Aberdeen hotels and the 125 jobs, and wish the Cairn Group every success for the future with the addition of these high-quality assets to its portfolio.”