Three well-known north-east business ventures, including the Albyn Bar, have gone into administration.
The companies behind the Albyn, the Holiday Inn and the Holiday Inn Express, next to the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre have pulled the plug on the businesses – although administrators have ensured they will continue trading until buyers are found.
Last night, a manager at the Albyn – which was busy with Friday evening drinkers – confirmed that former owner Ivor Finnie was “no longer with the business”.
Mr Finnie and his business partner, Alan Wallace, are veteran hotel and bar owners, with an involvement in several well-known venues in the Granite City.
Through their firm, European Development Holdings, they first launched plans to convert 11 Albyn Place from offices into the bar and eaterie in 2004.
The property developers own several companies together, which are ultimately controlled by a firm based in the tax haven of Luxembourg.
Last night it emerged that two other registered companies – the European Development Company (Bridge of Don Hotels) and Verase, which are each behind the two hotels at the Bridge of Don – were also in the control of administrators, AlixPartners.
In a statement, the latter said it would continue to trade the hotels and the bar and restaurant while it sought new buyers. The firm has appointed Michels and Taylor to run the hotels and Asset Managers Solutions, to run the Albyn.
Ryan Grant, joint administrator at AlixPartners, strove to reassure staff and customers in a statement, saying: “We believe both hotels and the [Albyn] bar are commercially viable and will continue to trade.
“We would also like to thanks the staff for their continued support and professionalism during this process.”
The shock collapse of the companies casts uncertainty over the health of the investors’ other ventures – although no other companies owned by Mr Finnie and Mr Wallace are in administration.
Earlier this year, Mr Finnie – through another firm known as Status Properties – submitted ambitious plans to redevelop the failed Hamilton School – a B-listed property in Aberdeen’s west end – into a 90-bedroom luxury hotel.
Neither Mr Finnie nor Mr Wallace were available for comment.