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Podium, Cloud 23 Bar in administration bother

Beetham Tower owner in trouble

Published on February 21st 2011.

Podium, Cloud 23 Bar in administration bother

Yes, it came as a bit of a shock to us as well.

Beetham Hotels Manchester Limited, the owner of the Hilton Hotels franchise here in Manchester, has gone into administration; joint administrators from the Manchester office of KPMG have been appointed. Confidential was notified by post this morning.

David Gale's highly-rated restaurant, Podium and Cloud 23 Bar, well known to the Manchester Confidential readers, will carry on trading as normal for the foreseable future.

In addition, the hotel will carry on trading as normal whilst the adminstrators decide the best course of action; The Hilton Hotel Group will carry on managing the Hotel as a Hilton for the time being.

If you are a creditor, you should call Sheilagh Richardson on 0118 373 1408; operational matters should be discussed with James Sharp. 0207694 1057

We'll bring you more information on this as we get it. We're chasing down interviews presently.


Confidential’s Simon Binns has spoken to Brian Green, joint administrator at KPMG, who said that the firm was already talking with possible buyers for the business.

“We’re very confident we can achieve a sale in a relatively quick timescale,” he said. “We’re already having discussions with possible buyers, but we’ll do the deal at the right price. We’re in no hurry, because the businesses (the hotel, bar and restaurant) are trading well.”

It’s key to remember here that effectively, this is just a property company going down – Beetham Hotels Manchester Ltd - although it will generate headlines because it owns the bottom half of a high-profile building. The Hilton is a strong tenant to wave in front of potential purchasers, however, with a solid covenant and a long lease.

Looking through the company’s accounts, it’s clear it was over-geared, and operating against bank lending from Lloyds HBOS based on values from the peak of the market. It seems those numbers simply failed to stack up. Administrators refused to disclose the current debt of the company or its asking price however.

There’ll be no shortage of interest in taking the assets on however – and a deal could be concluded sooner rather than later.

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36 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Phil NichollsFebruary 21st 2011.

Bloody he'll, that's a bit of a shock. Hotel always seemed busy with functions and football teams staying. Would love to know what part of the business the losses came from.

I know that Cloud 23 had a fairly low capacity due to the table service and wanting to keep a queue downstairs to make it look popular, but that must be only a small contributor to income compared to the number of rooms there are in the hotel

TMAFebruary 21st 2011.

PHILBO, is it not just the property company that has gone into administration rather than being a reflection on the hotel etc itself?


mancFebruary 21st 2011.

Well it was shite anyway (cloud23) Hilton is ok ,but its a Hilton. Yet again though biggest problem with Manchester is that its a one or 2 maximum night a week City, there aren't enough punters with sufficient dough to sustain all that the city can offer. All the bollocks saying its atourist attraction Ha !
Out last night Town quiet , went to San Carlo (reasonably busy) Driving through St Anns sqn at 11pm 1 car parked outside Russell and Bromley and a traffic warden was doing the business on it, Mental !!

HmmmFebruary 21st 2011.

Not my understanding of the situation at all.

BrianFebruary 21st 2011.

just shows that no one is safe in these hard times. Even the biggest company's are finding it hard!

Move along now pleaseFebruary 21st 2011.

The hotel/bars etc won't close. It's just a very local Beetham admin. It will be business as usual there. No change will be observed by the casual customer.

ddFebruary 21st 2011.

Hmm, yes looks like it has not 'gone under' at all

JFebruary 21st 2011.

Good gosh what were they doing with the money? Do they not know how to run a business? Shocking, absolutely shocking!

Phil NichollsFebruary 21st 2011.


Sorry, misread the article.

Jimmy fontanaFebruary 21st 2011.

The live saxophone and DJ in cloud23 on a friday is the best thing to go and see by FAR in manchester. . .I hope everything works out and we can carry on going to enjoys those tunes! I think they call themselves sax and the city. . . theyre amazing!

Jenny JigglebapsFebruary 21st 2011.

I agree Jimmy. . . . That sax player is HOT HOT HOT!!!! i think you can find them at http://www.saxandthecity.co.uk He came to do my wedding last year with a live trio and they made our special day UNFORGETTABLE. . . . we are divorced now so i might see if that sax player will buy me a cocktail in CLOUD23 .. . . . i really hope they keep doing what they do best!

jonny longjohnFebruary 21st 2011.

I have been up to cloud23 on many occsion and had a wonderful time. . . There is a DJ up there called Pete on a friday, Pete Hoyle I hink his name is! His subtle blend of smooth and soulful house music makes my spine tingle!

SaxomophoneFebruary 21st 2011.

Good God I hope you're joking about that wretched sax. He was there on valentines day hopelessly puffing away.

He can clearly play it competently, but it's a pretty obnoxious sound when solo, mic'd up and in the relatively enclosed and quiet environment that is a restaurant.

I blame the sax for all of the Hilton's problems.

WhitesidesOnsideFebruary 21st 2011.

Perhaps if it wasn't £8 per drink and they didnt make it as diffecult as poossible to actually go to Cloud23 then they might turn over a bit more business - just a thought..

clouded23February 21st 2011.

Confidential found out by post today. Everybody else found out on the web on Friday -menmedia.co.uk/…/1408551_hilton_deansgate_manchester_landlord_in_administration_…

Captain ZadFebruary 21st 2011.

Only if they read the MEN

AnonymousFebruary 21st 2011.

Does this mean a discount on the properties above perhaps?

AnonymousFebruary 21st 2011.

I had the delight of working at 23 a while ago and contrary to popular belief the queue is not there to "make it look busy" the queue is there because of the way the bar is built it can only allow for 4-5 bartenders thus it gets very busy, very quickly. In order to make the extremely time consuming drinks (martini, manhattan) , you need TIME!

But sod cloud 23, get to Corridor!

Stephen19853February 21st 2011.

This article is potentially misleading. It is the Beetham property business which is in adminstration, and this as far as I am aware does not immediately affect the trade of the hotel, although it may do in due course.

StatathomeFebruary 21st 2011.

West Tower formerly Beetham Tower in Liverpool has also gone into admin, is it part of the same group?

AngelVsDevilFebruary 21st 2011.

OOh now if I could but one of those apartments cheap... perfect.
We had our wedding in Cloud23 and it was magical!

Paris HiltonFebruary 21st 2011.

Stephen19853 is right, nothing will change at the Hilton operationally. The special purpose company in administration has a management contract with Hilton to operate the hotel. The company (owned by Beetham) is possibly broke and not able to pay it's bank debt hence the administration. All of this is far less attention grabbing than "HILTON EMPIRE GOES BUST IN MANCHESTER!"

DunnyFebruary 21st 2011.

They should get bleeding gums murphy in there...

AnonymousFebruary 21st 2011.

Oh dear, perhaps the staff in Cloud 23 should serve customers rather than ignore them and chat amongst themselves!

are we stupidFebruary 21st 2011.

Why is a company going in to administration such a big shock??? Hundreds of companies do it every day as it is an easy & legal way to write off loads of debt. We live in a crazy world where lots of 'successful' people are judged so by their end result, not by how they got there. Read between the lines and many have actually run businesses in to the ground and used the pre-pack method to bounce back and go straight in to profit - leaving a trail of genuinely hard working people owed money


An update has been added to this article.

jesus christFebruary 21st 2011.

dont worry guys!! i will pop down and give them a helping hand!!! I'll get my dad on the case

O TowerFebruary 21st 2011.

But in my email it says it's gone under

AnonymousFebruary 21st 2011.

We visited Cloud 23 & the Podium on Sarurday night and it was so disappointing. No-one was in charge,it was unpleasant and frustrating because no-one coulod deal with anything. It is more than apparant now that things weren't going too well, maybe if they employed experienced staff who are trained in dealing with people they might stand a better chance.

PapaFebruary 21st 2011.

I have confidence in S.Richardson, J.Sharp, KPMG and the rest of the team. The group would find a rescuer, set a new strategy and re-lunch again. Good luck from Papa Andoh Kweku.

Simon TFebruary 21st 2011.

Wny surprised? I was being reported as far back as 2008 that Beetham had been forced to renegotiate its bank funding in the face of debts of £300m. The problem's were being flagged up by the group's auditors. I'm not surprised, but also not bothered; Cloud 23 is one of the worst run bars in Manchester. The view is great, but take that away and it's terrible, silly overpriced cocktails, too much cocky attitude.

London LeeFebruary 21st 2011.

Not surprised. It's a nice bar - when you can get in. I once tried to get a table on a Saturday night and was told there was a 12 weeknwaiting list. Unbelievable!

John14798February 22nd 2011.

I always found Cloud 23 a huge, missed opportunity. A great space with incredible views but decorated in Habitat circa 1970 style, shabby rather than sophisticated

Peter HarrisFebruary 22nd 2011.

I went early on and was amazed that it was a very bare space , no art or anything on the walls and very little alcohol in my cocktail! When you are used to drinking your own cocktails at home, using the correct/original recipes most Manchester bar "cocktails" are more like a cordial drink. Socio Rehab and Epernay being the exception.

AnonymousFebruary 23rd 2011.

Oh dear... Mancon get its knickers in a twist about the a landlord and all the trolls use the opportunity to attack the landlord's tenants!
The story had national interest about how many of Bank of Scotland's dodgy loan Lloyds is not clearing out of its balance sheet.

Ali McGowanFebruary 23rd 2011.

I love Cloud 23 and for those that don't: good. More lovely cocktails for me. Goodbye.

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