Lavenham: Celebrity chef Marco Pierre White linked to hotels bid

ADMINISTRATORS of a hotel chain which runs businesses in Suffolk and Norfolk has confirmed that they are in advanced negotiations with a potential buyer.

The Maypole Group, owners of The Angel Hotel in Lavenham, went into administration last October after being unable to repay loans to Clydesdale Bank.

Over the past two weeks reports have spread that celebrity chef Marco Pierre White, 49, has put in a bid to buy the group, which employs more than 200 people.

Simon Bower a partner at the group’s administrators, Baker Tilly Restructuring and Recovery, would neither confirm or deny the rumours yesterday but said he was pleased to confirm that they were in advanced negotiations with a buyer of all Maypole’s trade and assets.

He said: “In the interests of confidentiality it is not appropriate for the joint administrators to identify or discuss any interested parties involved in the potential sale.

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

He added that he was encouraged by the loyal support of staff and customers and looked forward to making further announcements in due course.

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Founded in November 2003, the Maypole Group has built up a portfolio of five historic hotels, pubs and inns in Norfolk and Suffolk and a sixth in Wiltshire, all of which continue to trade as normal while a buyer is sought.

The group’s properties include the Lifeboat Inn and Old Coach House, both in Thornham, north Norfolk, the 15-bed Wayford Bridge Hotel, near Stalham, the Bridge Inn at Acle and the Angel Hotel.

Marco Pierre White was the youngest chef at the age of 33 to be awarded three Michelin stars. His record was broken in 2002 by the Italian Massimiliano Alajmo who won three stars at the age of 28.

He handed his stars back in 1999 when he became a restaurateur and in 2007 became head chef in ITV’s Hells Kitchen.


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