Red Cow Hotel to double rooms in major expansion
Just months after the bulk of the Moran Bewley group was sold to hotel firm Dalata in a €455m deal, Tom Moran is planning a massive multi-million euro extension to his high profile Red Cow Hotel in Dublin.
It will see over 100 bedrooms added to the premises, nearly doubling the number at the popular hotel.
The development of a new five-storey wing at the complex will also involve the demolition of existing portions of the facility, including a building known as the 'Pavilion', and a business centre. A new banqueting suite, meeting room, restaurant and bar are also planned.
The Red Cow Inn portion of the complex, which includes bars, restaurants and nightclubs, will not be altered as part of the new plans.
The Red Cow Hotel is located on the Naas Road, and records show that an inn existed on the site as far back as the eighteenth century.
The planned expansion comes amid a resurgent hotel sector in the capital, with occupancy rates now as high as they were during the boom.
Headed by former Jurys Doyle boss Pat McCann, Dalata acquired the bulk of the Moran Bewley group earlier this year. Dalata is the biggest hotel group in the country and bought nine Moran Bewley hotels, with Limerick native Mr Moran paying an estimated €8m through a new company called Guestford to retain control of the Red Cow Hotel.
Company records also show that Donal O'Doherty, the long-time chief financial officer of the Moran Bewley group resigned less than two weeks ago as a director of Guestford.
Mr Moran paid €580m in 2008 to buy six Bewleys hotel properties from Bert Allen, the founder of Slaney Meats.
Loans attached to the Moran Bewleys group were sold in late 2012 by Lloyds to US hedge fund Canyon Capital Advisors. It's understood that about €140m of loans were sold by Lloyds at a discount of about 70pc.
Bank of Ireland and AIB also held loans attached to the hotel operation.
In 2013, the Moran Bewleys hotel group completed a major financial restructuring that saw €490m wiped off its debts. It also received a cash injection of €125m.
Following the financial restructuring, Canyon, Bank of Ireland and AIB all had significant equity positions in the Moran Bewleys group before it was sold to Dalata, which is listed on the stock exchange.
A report by DTZ last week said that €126m worth of hotels were bought and sold in Ireland during the first three months of 2015, up 37pc on the first quarter of 2014.