Wirefox grows Marram Hotels portfolio with acquisition of historic St Andrews hotel

The Ardgowan Hotel

NORTHERN Irish private investment company Wirefox has acquired the Ardgowan Hotel through its Marram Hotels business, expanding the leisure portfolio to Scotland.

The privately owned St Andrews property was acquired from the McLachlan family on Monday (24 October) for an undisclosed sum.

Centrally located within the heart of St Andrews, close neighbours include the renowned University of St Andrews and world-famous Old Course. The group plans to operate the three-star rated Ardgowan Hotel in its current form, with the existing team in situ.

The purchase follows the acquisition of one of Northern Irelands best loved hotels, The Bushmills Inn, earlier this year, making this the second property in the Marram Hotels portfolio.

Kathryn Robinson, Investment Director at Wirefox, said: “As an iconic golfing hotel, it’s a great time for us to be adding the Ardgowan Hotel to our growing portfolio, with all indicators pointing towards a bumper year for golf enthusiasts off the back of The Open.

“Welcoming the current staff to Wirefox’s extended team, while continuing to trade, will allow us to gain a deeper understanding of the business and continue to provide the much-loved service guests have become accustomed to. We’re grateful that the McLachlan family have agreed to work with us to ensure a smooth transition and we look forward to acting as custodian in the months and years ahead.”

Housed in a B-listed Georgian townhouse, designed by Scottish architect George Rae, the hotel comprises of 29 comfortable en suite bedrooms, with a further seven en suite rooms in a section of the property dating back to 1820. The hotel’s Playfair’s Restaurant and Steakhouse enjoys an excellent reputation, having been awarded an AA Rosette every year since 2015, alongside the hotel’s increasingly popular bar and outdoor terrace.

Bought by Roy and Eliza McLachlan in 2003, the business is now run by the second generation of McLachlan family – brother and sister, Duncan (Director of Catering and Head Chef) and Rachel (Director of Marketing and Business Development).

Welcoming confirmation of the sale, Roy McLachlan, Managing Director of The Ardgowan Hotel, said: “It’s a pleasure to be handing over the operation and ownership of the Hotel to such a professional group. The Hotel has enjoyed many years of excellent performance due to its wonderful staff and I am convinced that both the staff and the Hotel will enjoy a very bright future.”

Wirefox was advised by Belfast-based Davidson McDonnell, along with BTO Solicitors of Edinburgh, in relation to the acquisition, with the McLachlan family seeking counsel from leading Scottish law firm, Thorntons Law LLP.

It is believed Wirefox will continue to grow its Marram Hotels portfolio in the coming months.

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