OakNorth Bank lends £15M to leading hotel family business, JMK Group, for freehold buyout of two London hotels and upgrades to an existing hotel

  • JMK group is a family-run, privately owned hospitality group founded in 2009, which started as a small boutique hotel in Kensington;
  • Since then, the Group’s portfolio has grown into a portfolio of hotels, properties, and coffee houses across London and Ireland;
  • The capital from OakNorth Bank will fund the freehold buyout of two hotels and the upgrade one of the Group’s flagship assets – Seraphine Olympia on Kensington High Street.

OakNorth Bank, the UK bank for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs, has completed a £15M loan to JMK Group, a leading family-run hotel business, to fund the freehold buyout of its Seraphine hotels in Kensington and Hammersmith. The capital will also support the upgrading of its Seraphine hotel in Kensington which will include refurbishing the hotel’s 40 existing rooms, turning it into a new 4-star boutique hotel.

JMK’s story began when an ambitious entrepreneur, John Kajani, made a bold decision to move from textiles to the hospitality industry. With a strong work ethic and an eagerness to succeed, he opened a small boutique hotel in Kensington in 2009, unaware it would later grow into an extensive portfolio of hotels, properties and coffee houses known as the ‘JMK Group’.

Zain Kajani, Director of JMK Group, said: “The hospitality market is ever-changing, so as a future-orientated company, we are always looking forward and regularly review our business strategy to ensure we’re staying on top of emerging trends and customer expectations. The freehold buyouts and upgrades to Seraphine Olympia are prime examples of this, so we’re grateful to the OakNorth Bank team for their support in this transaction. We had a funding experience in the past with another bank where we waited six months for them to come back to us with a “no”, so to work with a lender that moves quickly and transparently was a very refreshing experience. We were at Credit Committee about three weeks after we met the team for the first time, which is pretty incredible.”

Hilton Foster, Director of Debt Finance at OakNorth Bank, continued: “JMK is an incredibly strong family business with ambitious plans for the future. The freehold buyout was a sensitive and complex negotiation that required a lender who understands the market and could work with JMK to get the deal done under the right terms. We are excited to continue supporting the Group with its future growth, in particular acquisitions of new assets to build its portfolio.”



Notes to editors

About OakNorth Bank plc

Launched in September 2015 and founded by entrepreneurs, OakNorth Bank provides fast, flexible, and accessible debt finance to the UK’s Missing Middle.

Since its launch, the bank has:

  • Lent over £7.5B, directly helping with the creation of 34,000 new jobs and 25,000 new homes across the UK.
  • Raised deposits from c.160,000 savers.
  • Supported several hundred businesses across the UK with the debt finance to pursue their growth ambitions.

It is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. 


Valentina Kristensen – Director, Growth & Communications – valentina.kristensen@oaknorth.co.uk / press@oaknorth.co.uk / 0757 234 9009


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