Horse trainer jumps new fence with property deal
A top horseracing trainer leads a group of investors which has taken control of a leading Kildare resort.
A consortium led by Oliver Brady has bought the Moyvalley Hotel and Golf Course in Enfield, Co Kildare.
The hotel was put up for sale last September with an asking price of between €4m and €5m. It was brought to market by CBRE on the instructions of receiver Padraic Monaghan of KPMG.
Terms of the sale were not revealed but industry sources indicated the final sale price was likely close to €3m.
The new owners are a consortium of successful business people who are said to have a strong local and international investment portfolio.
Apart from Mr Brady, the consortium also includes Thailand's Jane Tripipatkul, her Irish-born son Mark McCarthy, and the entrepreneur and Enterprise Ireland board member Rita Shah.
Mr Brady and Ms Shah are both directors of Shabra Plastics/Recycling Ltd in Co Monaghan, while Ms Tripipatkul and Mr McCarthy are both based in London.
The consortium bought the resort as a going concern and is understood to be intent on further developing the resort's already well-established reputation as a wedding and leisure breaks destination.
It has retained the existing employees and plans to expand the resort's facilities. Those moves may result in up to 70 or 80 jobs being created over the next three years.
The resort was developed from new in 2006 and comprises a modern hotel building with conference and function facilities, along with 54 bedrooms, and a bar and restaurant.
Also included is Balyna House, a 19th Century Italianate manor house, and an adjoining abbey – both of which were painstakingly restored and now includes 47 separate 2- and 3-bedroom holiday cottages and apartments; a links-like golf course – designed by former Open Champion Darren Clarke – and a "palatial" three-storey self-contained golf clubhouse with function/meeting rooms, pro shop, bar, restaurant and changing rooms.
The property – which is described as being in excellent condition throughout – sits on an elevated site extending to about 460 acres.
The consortium's plan is to continue to operate the property as a family-orientated resort. More than 80 wedding receptions are booked in for this year and the venue is on track to have a similar number for 2015.
The golf course will reopen for play on the May 9 and the plan is to attract many new members at what will be "very good value, special introductory rates".
There has been strong interest in the Irish hotel and golf resort market in recent times with several well-known resort- type properties changing hands including Fota Island, Kilkea Castle, Glenlo Abbey, Palmerstown House, Knockanally, the Heritage Golf Course, New Forest Estate and Golf Course and the Blarney Golf Resort, which was also sold recently.
CBRE's Dermot Curtin commented: "The Moyvalley Estate is already a well-established, high-quality hotel and golf resort – only 40 minutes from Dublin city and airport – and one which has enormous further potential.
"Acquiring this superb hotel and golf resort at a significant discount to the original development cost affords the purchaser a real opportunity to re-establish Moyvalley as the leading wedding, conference and golf resort venue in the Leinster region".
Sunday Indo Business