Travelodge Appoints New Chairman to Tackle Finances

Travelodge Hotels, a UK-based company that owns and operates hotel properties, has appointed a new chairman, Brian Wallace, who is expected to help steer the company out of its financial troubles.

Wallace has extensive experience of serving in the hotel industry and was the deputy chief executive at the Hilton group. He is taking over the hotel chain at a time when it has announced a decision to offload around 49 properties to other operators.

Grant Hearn, the chief executive of Travelodge, said, ‘I am really excited to welcome Brian as the new Chairman of Travelodge.

He has extensive experience of the hotel industry, which will be invaluable as we continue to grow the Travelodge brand and deliver on our successful growth strategy.

I have known Brian for over 12 years and believe he will be a real asset to our company.’

Previously, the company had agreed a financial restructuring, for the long-term future of the business, in conjunction with a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA). Under the terms of CVA, 347 hotels and 70 percent of the estate will be left as it is, and 109 hotels will be offered a rent reduction on completion of the restructuring. The company has also identified 49 hotels that will be handed over to new operators. To date, only two of these have been handed over to new management.

Grant Hearn has previously explained, ‘The financial restructuring, including the CVA, will leave Travelodge in a much stronger position going forward and will ensure a long-term, sustainable future for the business. Once this joint process is completed, Travelodge’s debt, interest costs and lease liabilities will be significantly reduced. This new appropriate level will provide greater security for our staff, suppliers, landlords and developers. This is a successful brand with millions of customers and the company will emerge in excellent shape from this process.’