Saturday 1 October 2016

Gresham not the only option for Spain's Riu Hotels group

Published 09/06/2016 | 02:30

Luis Riu
Luis Riu

The chief executive of the global Spanish Riu Hotels group has told the Irish Independent that the company will hunt for another property in Dublin if it fails to buy the Gresham Hotel.

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Riu is one of the front-runners for the Gresham, which is expected to fetch as much as €85m. It's being sold by Nama.

In an exclusive interview with the Irish Independent, Luis Riu, inset, said that his group is "very excited" about the prospect of acquiring the Gresham, which would operate as a Riu Plaza property.

Riu Hotels, which is 49pc-owned by the global TUI travel group, is up against rival bidders such as US private equity groups Apollo and Cerberus to clinch the landmark Dublin hotel.

The big price tag on the property on Dublin's O'Connell Street is seen as too steep by some, but Mr Riu said that he still believes the property provides a "good opportunity".

"Dublin is in our strategic plans of growth, so if we finally are not able to purchase this hotel, we will keep looking for an opportunity to invest that is as good as this one," he said.

Mr Riu also said that Riu Hotels would eventually look to open a second property in Dublin in order to gain synergies.

* Read the Luis Riu interview in full

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