Tuesday 19 September 2017

Overseas investors eye up Doonbeg

Greg Norman watches his son play out of a bunker during a round of Golf in Doonbeg.
Greg Norman watches his son play out of a bunker during a round of Golf in Doonbeg.

Gordon Deegan

THE general manager of the five-star Doonbeg golf resort said yesterday that he had already received six inquiries over a 48-hour period from overseas investors looking to buy the golf resort.

Joe Russell was speaking yesterday two days after Luke Charleton and David Hughes of EY were appointed as receivers to the resort on Monday.

Mr Russell said: "Those who have expressed an interest in the business so far -- I like what I am hearing . . . I know some of these people and businesses who have expressed an interest already."

Among those tipped are Charles Darby who has said the links course has greatness in it.

The long-serving general manager at the resort said "those that I do know have money."

Mr Russell said that he had passed the queries on to the receivers at EY who, he said, hoped to complete the sale of the property in the next four to six weeks.

The very strong interest in the purchase of the property is understood to be split between 75pc of inquiries from overseas investors and 25pc from Irish investors. The sale of the assets at Doonbeg is to include the resort that contains The Lodge hotel and the golf course along with six unsold suites. Mr Russell said that his hope was that "we do get a suitable owner for Doonbeg -- someone who has the vision and resources to take what is a fantastic tourism product to take it to its next stage. We are still a young business".

Mr Russell said the business had grown since 2009 and its accommodation, golf and resort had all continued to thrive "and had major gains last year".

In an interview with Clare FM yesterday, Mr Russell said that the resort business last year grew -- with accommodation sales up by 20pc and golf revenues up by 12pc.

Mr Russell said that based on current bookings, he anticipates further growth in 2014. Mr Russell confirmed that the business has entered receivership as a result of legacy property issues. Mr Russell said that he had been in contact with brides and grooms that have weddings booked.

Irish Independent

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