Chef takes 50pc stake in MBO of Oaklands Hall Hotel

Fri, 19 Jun 2015 | MBO/MBI

A management buyout (MBO) has seen chef Steven Bennett take a 50 per cent stake in The Oaklands Hall Hotel, Grimsby and its associated restaurant, the Comfy Duck.

The hotel was bought out of administration four years ago by John and Carline Lawson and turned around from a failing business into a high end independent hotel. The couple also launched the Comfy Duck restaurant on the premises and worked with Mr Bennett to deliver local Lincolnshire produce.

Now Mr Bennett has bought out the Lawsons of Sotby Farming Company in Market Rasen who formed half of the rescue consortium in 2011. The value of the deal has not been disclosed, but the head chef and operations director is confident about the future of the business.

He spoke to the Grimsby Telegraph: “I have been here for three-and-a-half years, and we have brought it from the ashes, it was in administration, probably the worst hotel in Grimsby for reputation, and we have brought it back to life, working very hard to make sure the hotel is brought forward.”

Mr Bennett added that the Comfy Duck was their first priority during the turnaround and the area that required the most work to create the trade. The effort proved worthwhile with the business now flourishing.

The Lawsons told the paper that the time was “opportune for Mr Bennett to step in and “take on our 50 per cent share of the business, ensuring with his enthusiasm and ambition that the hotel will continue to progress.”

They added: “We are retaining our share of the property and will be looking for new business opportunities in the locality."


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