The Clarence Court Hotel in Cheltenham has new operators, following the purchase of Harlequin Hotels (Cheltenham) Limited, by C&E Diamond Holdings Ltd. The deal, which was for an undisclosed figure, was advised on by Cardiff based mergers and acquisition advisory business GS Verde Group and was funded by HSBC UK.

The hotel is an AA Gold Star Award hotel, which includes the Joules bar and restaurant, in the popular Clarence Square area of Cheltenham. The new operating team will be co-owners Christopher Cottam and Elaine Cross, who both have extensive experience in the hospitality sector.

Speaking on the completion of the deal, new owner Chris Cottam said:

“We are delighted to have purchased Harlequin Hotels, and more directly Clarence Court Hotel. The hotel is a beautiful Regency building and is perfectly located close to the famous racecourse and is walking distance to the centre of Cheltenham. It has spacious bedrooms with a restaurant and bar, and we have also added small meeting facilities which are ideal for discreet meetings or private dining.

He added:

“We have had fantastic support from our team which made the purchase achievable in the current economic climate. Leanne Thomas from Greenaway Scott has been such a
great support and always very professional in advice and managing a challenging process”.

Greenaway Scott, who were recently rated as the most active M&A advisors in Wales by Experian, advised the purchasers on the corporate and property aspects of the purchase. The award-winning law firm is part of the GS Verde Group, a multidiscipline advisory business that provides corporate finance and legal services, and specialises in advice on mergers and acquisitions.

Speaking on the deal, Leanne Thomas, Director of Greenaway Scott said:

“It was a real pleasure to work with Elaine & Chris on the acquisition of Clarence Court Hotel and we wish them all the very best for what will undoubtedly be a successful future for both them and the hotel”.

David Butler, HSBC UK Area Director for Bristol, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire, commented:

“We’re delighted to be supporting such a well-established and successful business with roots in the South West. HSBC UK is committed to the support and development of businesses right across the region, especially amid the current circumstances and look forward to seeing the future success of The Clarence Court Hotel under the new ownership of C&E Diamond Holdings Ltd.”

The purchase provides some positive news in the face of challenging economic times, and Mr Cottam is optimistic about the future, he concluded: “Despite the current trading conditions, both Elaine and I know that this is a long-term investment. We are currently supporting the frontline workers that are essential to help the local needs. We will be adding new experiences such as a Walled Garden and we plan to upgrade the bedrooms with great space either for business or pleasure.

In addition to the GS Verde Group, other advisers on the deal included BPE Solicitors of Cheltenham, who acted for the outgoing shareholders and Foot Anstey, who acted for the landlords Powderham Properties (Teignmouth) Limited.