Administrators appointed to more Opal companies



Administrators from KPMG and Grant Thornton have been appointed to a further 19 companies within the debt-laden student accommodation business Opal, including the Manchester-based parent according to

Ernst & Young was appointed to 13 companies within the business last week and TheBusinessDesk understands that PwC is waiting in the wings to pick up the remaining 22.

The latest round of administrations includes Opal Property Group, and a number of special purpose vehicles that own properties in Sheffield, Nottingham, Liverpool, Manchester and Wrexham.

The business, which owes 14 lenders more than £880m, has been desperately trying to refinance for several months. It continues to trade and the administrations do not affect day-to-day operations at the various buildings.

KPMG has been appointed to 15 companies with David Crawshaw and Rob Croxen handling six companies which own four student buildings and Colin Haig and Brian Green looking after nine companies which own eight student halls, two hotels and two private rental buildings.

Daniel Smith, Les Ross and David Riley of Grant Thornton have been appointed joint administrators of Opal Property Group, Opal Property Services, Opal Trafford and Opal Estates.

Mr Crawshaw of KPMG said: “Opal Group has been unable to sustain its financial commitments in very challenging economic conditions. Our primary aim is to avoid disruption or inconvenience to students and tenants at the sites. We are now in the process of detailed analysis of the finances of the business, with a view to stabilising their operations. We will make further updates as the case progresses.”

Les Ross of Grant Thornton said: “Opal has been working with its lenders and potential equity investors to recapitalise the Opal business. Attempts to refinance Opal’s portfolio in the time available have regrettably not been successful. As a consequence administrators have now been appointed to Opal’s group companies.

“It is the intention for Opal to continue providing the same services to the SPVs as it has to date. Opal will therefore continue to operate as usual, continuing to let and manage Opal’s assets in order to minimise any disruption to its customers and the business whilst a sale of the business is achieved.”

Opal was founded by entrepreneur Stuart Wall in the 1980s. It was one of the largest student accommodation providers in the country with more than 20,000 beds. It had until March 1 to agree terms with its lenders – facilities with four lenders owed £412m had already expired.

KPMG’s David Crawshaw and Rob Croxen are handling:

• South Yorkshire One Limited – Sheffield 3 – 80 Hoyle Street, Sheffield
• Opal Nottingham Limited – Nottingham 1 – St Peter’s Street, Radford, Nottingham
• Opal Aigburth Limited – Aigburth Park – St Michaels Road, Liverpool
• Opal Condor Limited – Devell House, Wilmslow Park, Manchester
• Opal Wrexham Limited – Snowden Hall, Vicarage Hill, Wrexham
• OGSC Limited – land asset in Sheffield

KPMG’s Colin Haig and Brian Green have been appointed to:

• The Place For Living limited – The Place – Ducie Street, Manchester
• Opal Portfolio 2 Limited – Wilmslow Park – 211 Hathersage Road, Manchester
• Op3 Limited – Opal Court – 60 Lancaster Road, Leicester
• Opal (Yorkshire) Limited – Opal 1 – 168 Pitfield Street, London
• Opal City Developments Limited – Chandos Hall – Granby Row, Manchester
• Opal Hospitality Limited – Weston Hall – Sackville Street, Manchester
• Opal Hospitality Limited – Manchester Conference Centre (MCC) – Sackville Street, Manchester
• Opal South Yorkshire Limited – Opal 1 – 51 Wellington Street, Sheffield
• Opal St Georges Limited – Opal 2 – 10 St Georges Close, Sheffield
• Opal St Georges Limited – Atlantic 1 – St Georges Close, Sheffield
• Opal St Georges Limited – Opal Villas – 167 Notte Street, Plymouth
• Oreno Homes Limited – The Pines – Disley, near Manchester

Daniel Smith, Les Ross and David Riley of Grant Thornton have been appointed to: Opal Property Group Limited, Opal Property Services, Opal Trafford Limited and Opal Estates Limited.