Building behind the loan: The Grand Brighton Hotel

Leumi UK has provided a £43.7m loan to Israeli firm Fattal Hotel Group for the acquisition and refurbishment of the historic Grand Brighton Hotel.

London-based Leumi UK, a subsidiary of Israeli lender Leumi Group, in May provided a £43.7 million (€50 million) loan to Israeli firm Fattal Hotel Group to fund the acquisition and refurbishment of the historic Grand Brighton Hotel in the English seaside resort of Brighton.

The four-star hotel is a landmark on the city’s seafront. It was also notoriously the scene of a 1984 bombing by Irish republicans. The assassination attempt on the then UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher killed five people and injured 31, including trade and industry secretary Norman Tebbit and his wife Margaret.

Victorian brilliance

1864 The hotel opens, costing £100,000 to build

1984 Irish republicans attempt to assassinate UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in bombing at the hotel

1990s The De Vere Group undertakes multimillion-pound refurbishment

2014 Wittington Investments buys the hotel for £50m

2019 A £3m refurbishment is completed

2023 Fattal buys hotel for £60m

The 201-bed, seven-floor hotel was also where Swedish pop group ABBA stayed on the night of its Eurovision Song Contest win in 1974, and in 1933 was the birthplace of an Indian prince.

The Grand was built for the upper classes visiting Brighton and Hove, and was designed by architect John Whichcord Jr. When it opened in 1864, it was celebrated as the ‘Palace By The Sea’, revered for its architectural Victorian brilliance, ornate interiors and for having the first lift outside of London.

Fattal bought the hotel from privately owned Wittington Investments in February this year for a reported £60 million. It has said it has “big plans” to retain its “iconic status” and will make “significant investment”.

The hotel is located in one of the UK’s best-performing hotel markets, Leumi said. Liam Mullans, Leumi UK relationship director, said the deal was closed in eight weeks because of the long-standing relationship between the bank and the hotel operator, highlighting the importance of relationships in an uncertain market.