Talks to buy hotel group

Talks with a potential buyer for the trouble hit hotel and pub chain based at Wayford Bridge near Stalham are at an advanced stage it was confirmed this week.

Administrators of the Maypole Group say talks with a possible purchaser of all its trade and assets are at an advanced stage.

As well as the flagship 15-bed Wayford Bridge Hotel, it includes the Lifeboat Inn and Old Coach House, both in Thornham, north Norfolk, the Bridge Inn at Acle and the Angel Hotel in Lavenham, Suffolk.

Baker Tilly Restructuring and Recovery, were appointed administrators at Maypole in October after the company was unable to repay loans to Clydesdale Bank following the economic downturn and increasing costs.

Interim results for the six months to June 30 showed a 7.6pc fall in sales for the group to �2.37m, and a loss before tax of �573,600. They also showed net debt of about �8.7m, up nearly �1m over the previous year.

The report said bookings over the period were hampered by adverse weather and increasing competition.

All the outlets including another in Wiltshire have continued to trade as normal at the group which employs 201 people including seasonal staff.

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It was founded in November 2003 with the intention of being a vehicle to acquire between 15 and 20 UK countryside hotels with restaurants or pubs attached.

Baker Tilly partner Simon Bower said: 'In the interests of confidentiality it is not appropriate to identify or discuss any interested parties involved in the potential sale.

'However, we are pleased to report that discussions are progressing well and we are hopeful of concluding a deal in the near future.'