Business Commercial Property

Saturday 17 November 2018

Co Kerry's Sheen Falls in €17m sale to Asian investors

Splendour: Sheen Falls Lodge has undergone a €5m refurbishment since being acquired by current owners, Palladian Hotels, in 2013
Splendour: Sheen Falls Lodge has undergone a €5m refurbishment since being acquired by current owners, Palladian Hotels, in 2013
Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan

The five-star Sheen Falls Lodge hotel in Co Kerry is set to change hands in the coming weeks following an agreement by its current owners to sell it to a group of Thai investors for a figure of between €16m and €17m, the Irish Independent can reveal.

While the sale of the Kenmare property has yet to be concluded, the deal, which is being handled by JLL, is expected to deliver a significant profit for the UK-based luxury hotel group, Palladian Hotels. The company acquired Sheen Falls Lodge in 2013 for €5m, and is understood to have spent a further €5m on refurbishment works since then.

Developed in the late 1980s by Danish shipping businessman, Bent Hoyer, the hotel opened for business in 1991. Built around an 18th century hunting lodge by the River Sheen, beside Kenmare Bay, the property had already come close to being sold in 2011. While Sheen Falls Lodge sits on 300 acres of land, its sale on each occasion involved just a portion of those grounds.

In other news for the hotel sector, the Irish Independent has learned that CBRE's hotel division and Eastdil Secured have been retained to advise on the sale of Tifco's hotel site at Portobello Harbour in Dublin city centre.

While the selling agents are believed to be in the process of targeting a list of potential buyers both here and overseas, it is understood they are guiding a price in the region of €15m for the site.

The disposal of the property is being conducted separately, and is unrelated to Tifco's recent agreement to sell its hotel business to US private equity giant, Apollo Global Management in a deal said to be worth up to €600m. A source familiar with the detail of the Portobello site sale said the property had been removed from the portfolio which Apollo is set to acquire.

Tifco's portfolio comprises 18 hotels in Ireland, several of which operate under the Crowne Plaza and Travelodge brands. The company also manages a number of high-profile hotels including Clontarf Castle in Dublin, the Heritage Resort at Killenard, Co Laois, and the Metropole in Cork.

The Portobello hotel site is being marketed by CBRE and Eastdil Secure on the strength of its location next to the Grand Canal, its proximity to the busy areas of Rathmines and Camden Street, and its branding potential.

Parties are being invited to submit offers for the site, subject to two potential planning permissions being secured.

While the site's owners had lodged a planning application for a 175-bedroom hotel, Dublin City Council gave a preliminary grant of permission for a reduced number of 149 rooms, which excluded the proposed development's fourth floor.

The final number of rooms will depend on the outcome of a ruling from An Bord Pleanala, which is expected to be delivered by the end of this year.

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