Business as usual at Radisson

Lee-Anne Butler

WHILE premier Nelson Mandela Bay hotel the Radisson Blu in Summerstrand is in the process of being sold, as required by the liquidation process, its operations will remain unaffected.

This follows Bay-based Auspex Hotels and Leisure – the group which has a management contract with Rezidor Hotel group, which owns the Radisson Blu – being handed a liquidation order earlier this year after it was unable to meet its payments to Absa, the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and third-party investors.

Liquidator D&T Trust’s Theo van den Heever said yesterday while it was operating profitably, they had embarked upon the process of identifying a suitable purchaser for the hotel.

“The hotel is running very well. We are happy with the performance of the staff and the loyalty of the clients. The hotel is very profitable.”

He said liquidators had advertised their intention to dispose of the business as a going concern, free of any historical debt.

According to the hotel’s operations manager, Clive van Oudtshoorn, the liquidation is mainly a result of Auspex’s battle to service the debt finance used in the original development. He said the hotel operations were running profitably and achieving annual growth.

“It should be stressed that the hotel remains open for business and it is looking forward to an excellent festive period.”

Van Oudtshoorn said already the hotel’s occupancy was higher for December and January compared to last year.

He said there were many confirmed bookings already extending through until the middle of next year and he was confident business levels would continue to grow in the year to come.

Van den Heever said there was no official date available on when the property and the business would be sold.

“The business is a viable, profitable entity with strong management and staff and we must ensure that this is a thorough process. We are not under any pressure to sell and will be diligent and act in the best interests of all parties,” he said.

The five-star hotel, which opened in 2009, was developed by the founder of Auspex Hotel and Leisure – Zimbabwean-born businessman and property developer Ben Nyaumwe.

Nyaumwe resigned from the board of the hotel late last year.

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