By Mick Jensen
Hotel Ashburton, which has been in the hands of the receiver since the start of the year, has been sold.
Indian born Johny Singh has bought the business and formally takes over from September 1.
Mr Singh owns hospitality businesses in Cambridge and Feilding and has worked in the industry for the last 10 years.
He will relocate to Ashburton from the North Island with his wife Jasuinder and two young children.
The Hotel Ashburton complex includes 54 accommodation rooms, a restaurant, eight function rooms and the Turf sports bar.
Mr Singh said he was excited by the opportunity to purchase the business.
He said he had eyed it up since May and was “in for the long term”.
The business was ticking along well, but he hoped to “give it an extra push” and improve efficiencies further.
“It is a step up in scale from the two businesses I run, but there are some capable staff here that can help me make the transition.”
Mr Singh said he had a strong work ethic, was driven to do well and enjoyed hospitality.
Hotel Ashburton employs around 50 staff, most on a part-time basis.
Staff were told about the sale and met Mr Singh last week and all will be kept on.
The land and buildings at the hotel complex are owned by Ashburton Licensing Trust (ALT).
ALT president Fay Watson said the sale had been a “good result” for the trust.
She said Mr Singh had a solid background in hospitality, the enthusiasm and energy to build the operation and the business head to manage the financials .
Malcolm Hollis from Price Waterhouse Coopers, who managed the receivership process, said selling the business as a going concern had been “a great outcome”.