Business Irish

Saturday 23 September 2017

Supermac's founder McDonagh buys landmark Limerick hotel for €3.5m

Barry Duggan

SUPERMAC'S founder and owner Pat McDonagh is entering the hotel industry after striking a deal to buy a 107-bedroom hotel in Limerick for an estimated €3.5m.

It is expected that the sale of the Castletroy Park Hotel in Limerick city will be completed later this month.

And the Irish Independent can reveal that in striking a deal for the four-star hotel, Mr McDonagh beat off competition from its original owner, the world-renowned philanthropist Chuck Feeney.

Mr Feeney -- who donated millions to numerous projects at the nearby University of Limerick -- opened the hotel in 1991.

He eventually sold it for €25m in 2004 to a property company headed by accountant Michael Daly and was interested in buying it back -- only for Mr McDonagh to swoop and agree a deal with the hotel owners, CPH Investments Limited.

A total of 90 staff are employed at the hotel and there will be no job losses with the takeover.

Mr McDonagh has said that he has plans to reinvest in the hotel complex and grow its business.

Liquidation

The Carlton Hotel Group has operated the hotel since 2009 after a previous company in charge of the hotel -- Castletroy Park Management -- went into liquidation.

A joint statement from the Carlton Hotel Group and Supermac's Ireland said the sale of the hotel had been agreed.

"Once the sale closes, Pat McDonagh will take over the operations of the hotel," the statement read.

"There will be no job losses and business will continue as normal at the hotel, with no interruption in trade.

"Pat McDonagh has plans to reinvest in the hotel and will continue to grow and develop the business," the joint statement added.

As part of the future management of the hotel, Mr McDonagh will be honouring all customer deposits, bookings, memberships and vouchers.

Staff at the hotel -- which boasts a gym, swimming pool and conference facilities -- have already been informed of the takeover.

The deal was overseen by Gordon Kearney of Rooney Auctioneers in Limerick city.

"It is one of the largest commercial sales to have taken place in Limerick in recent years and it is a real vote of confidence in the region by Mr McDonagh," said Mr Kearney.

He added: "He (Mr McDonagh) is dipping his toe into the hotel industry, so it is fantastic that a successful businessman is doing so here in Limerick."

The hotel is located alongside the University of Limerick campus and is also near the National Technological Park.

Supermac's was founded by Mr McDonagh in 1978 when he opened the first fast-food outlet in Ballinasloe, Co Galway.

Since then, the company has grown to become the country's biggest fast-food chain, with over 100 restaurants across the island.

It employs 2,600 people in directly owned and franchised restaurants.

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