Business Irish

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Revamped Ashford Castle paid out €785,000 in fees

Gordon Deegan

Published 13/03/2014 | 02:30

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Ashford Castle

The receivership of the five-star Ashford Castle hotel and resort, which will open tomorrow, has proved a boon to professionals with over €785,000 paid out in fees over an 18-month period.

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The hotel emerged from receivership last year after Red Carnation Hotels paid €20m for the Co Mayo resort last May.

The deal by the international boutique hotel operator secured the 160 jobs at the resort.

The hotel is re-opening on Friday after major refurbishment works that commenced on January 6 last.

Luke Charleton and David Hughes of Ernst & Young (EY) were appointed as receivers and managers to the property in December 2011.

New documents lodged with the Companies Office show that €785,838 was paid out in professional fees over the 18-month period, though no further breakdown is provided.

The receiver extract shows that the secured lender, Bank of Scotland received €16.5m from the sale. The extract shows that €17 million was realised from the sale after taxes.

The property was placed into receivership by Galway businessman Gerry Barrett – Mr Barrett bought the castle and the 365 acres overlooking Lough Corrib from a group of Irish-American investors in 2008 for €50m.

The property recorded profits of around €1.5m in its full year of receivership in 2012.

Figures show that the business recorded trading income of €3.7m in the six months from November 29 2012 to May 28, 2013 with €2.53m paid out to trade suppliers and €1.9m paid out in wages during the same period. The property emerged from receivership last year and during the final period, the business recorded trading income of €676,736 with trade suppliers paid €933,735, and with wages and salaries totalling €216,026.

Tom Barrett of estate agents Savills handed the sale for EY with the sale attracting more than 200 inquiries from the hotel industry.

The castle was extended over the years by a range of owners including the Guinness family.

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