Business Irish

Saturday 20 September 2014

Hotel firm cuts losses by more than half

Published 18/06/2014 | 02:30

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Frankie Whelehan founded Choice Hotels in 1998
Frankie Whelehan founded Choice Hotels in 1998

THE company behind a number of Clarion and Quality hotels around the country more than halved its losses in 2012, to €801,000, as turnover rose to €23.2m from €19.7m.

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Kasterlee, which trades as Choice Hotels, now only manages one hotel after seven other properties in the stable were transferred last year to a new company under an agreement with NAMA.

"The company has entered into a memorandum of understanding with the National Asset Management Agency to restructure the company," accounts newly filed for the business at the Companies Registration Office confirm.

Hotelier Frankie Whelehan founded Choice Hotels in Ireland in 1998.

Under Kasterlee, it operated eight hotels – seven in Ireland and one in London. But under the plan agreed with NAMA, seven of the hotel businesses were transferred to a new company called Vizmol last October. They included shares in Choice Limerick Ltd and Cordelle Enterprises.

That was done in exchange for Vizmol assuming certain liabilities of Kasterlee. Shares in Vizmol were issued to shareholders of Kasterlee pro rata to their stakes in the latter.

Kasterlee did not own the eight hotels that formed the bulk of its activities up until last October, and has no property loans.

But rent arrears accumulated following the downturn and that debt was owed to NAMA as it controls the properties.

Irish Independent

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