Owner of Edinburgh's historic Caledonian Hotel gets £62m boost amid hospitality rebound
The owner of Edinburgh’s landmark Caledonian Hotel has secured a £62 million funding deal in a “sign of confidence in Scotland’s hotel market”.
Specialist lenders Topland and OakNorth Bank have provided the bumper refinancing package via a combination of senior and mezzanine finance. They pointed to recent “positive occupancy data and forecasts” as the sector attempts to get back on its feet post-lockdown.
The famous 214-room hotel, known as The Caley, at the west end of Princes Street is operated under the Waldorf Astoria Brand and has been owned by Abu Dhabi-based Twenty14 Holdings since 2018.
Sol Zakay, chief executive and executive chairman of Topland, said: “We have a long track record in the hotels sector, both at the flagship end and at mid-market level, and continue to believe in the fundamentals of this asset class.
“The right assets under the right management will be sure to bounce back as we emerge from the pandemic and, with significant cash reserves ready to deploy, we are keen to explore such opportunities across the capital stack.”
The deal, originated by Topland, is said to be indicative of current refinancing activity in the hotels sector. The firm’s structured finance division has issued more than £150m of new loans during the past two months and is targeting £600m of total lending during the course of 2021 in response to renewed interest from borrowers.
Meanwhile, Accor, the global hotels group behind the Ibis and Novotel brands, among others, said it was creating 100 roles across Scotland following the reopening of the hospitality sector.
The firm is adding hundreds more hotel positions across the UK with further roles expected later this summer as staycations surge and the prospect of more international travel beckons.
Teams from more than a dozen Scottish hotels will attend the firm’s recruitment days on July 20 and 21 at Novotel Edinburgh Centre.
Sophie Kilic, who heads up talent and culture for Accor hotels in Northern Europe, said: “The hospitality industry has been damaged by Covid but it is recovering, reopening and creating jobs and opportunities as it has always done.
“There are fantastic job opportunities in hospitality today and opportunities to be part of a sector that plays an enormous role in the economic recovery of the UK.”