Sunday 15 December 2019

Three city hotels to hit market with €130m price tag

The Spencer Hotel
The Spencer Hotel

Peter Flanagan Commercial Property Editor

A PORTFOLIO of three Dublin hotels has been put up for sale with a price tag of €130m, in the latest sign of improvement in the hotel sector.

The Irish Independent understands that the Spencer Hotel in the IFSC, the Beacon Hotel in Sandyford, and the Morgan Hotel in Temple Bar, have been made available for sale although they are not yet formally "on the market".

CBRE is believed to have been retained to manage the process. The three hotels are all managed by Fitzpatrick Lifestyle Hotels. The company declined to comment.

The portfolio is among the last of the major hotel sales in the Irish market and come on the back of the Gresham and Burlington Hotels, which are currently on the market for €85m and €180m each.

The Spencer Hotel in the IFSC was formally the Clarion Hotel. The four-star property comprises 165 bedrooms, lounge, bar, restaurant and full leisure club with an estimated 1,000 members.

There are extensive conference and events facilities which can cater for up to 150 people - with 10 conference rooms of various sizes. The hotel employs 120 staff, according to its most recent accounts.

The hotel was sold in late 2013 to investment firm Patron Capital for close to €33m. Fitzpatrick Lifestyle Hotels is also believed to have provided equity on the deal.

Fitzpatrick Lifestyle Hotels was set up by Paul Fitzpatrick in 2001.

The Morgan Hotel is one of the best known hotels in the capital. Located in the heart of Temple Bar, it became one of the most popular hotels in Dublin during the Celtic Tiger years and is widely used for photo shoots and fashion events.

The Beacon Hotel in Sandyford features "stylish rooms come with designer furniture and contemporary artwork".

Amenities include a Thai restaurant with an adjacent courtyard, cocktail bar and a 24-hour gym. The properties are likely to attract a wide range of potential buyers, many of whom will have looked at and missed out on the former Burlington and Gresham Hotels.

Boston-based Pyramid Hotel Group paid nearly €30m for the Temple Bar Hotel two years ago and has been looking at other potential targets in Dublin since then.

A number of major US firms are also likely to bid for the portfolio.

Cerberus Capital Management and Apollo Capital Management are both through to the second round of bidding for the Gresham Hotel and may be interested in the portfolio.

Other firms such as Hyatt and Host Hotels & Resorts have both shown interest in the Burlington Hotel and may also bid for the portfolio.

The strong interest shown in the Gresham and Burlington hotels may have spurred the decision to bring these hotels to market.

The Gresham is understood to have seen more than 80 prospective buyers sign non-disclosure agreements in relation to the property.

The former Burlington Hotel, which is being sold by US private equity firm Blackstone, has also seen strong interest, mainly from overseas players.

Mr Fitzpatrick has previously described the Fitzpatrick Lifestyle Hotels "as being eclectic and unique".

"Together with aiming to always offer our customers a first class service; we also like to investigate alternative concepts outside of those traditionally associated with hotels for our customers and delivering them in an interesting and stylised manner," he said.

The company describes its hotels as "an exciting mix of all that is special about a designer hotel". It said they boast "cool, clean lines, white interior spaces, magnificent glass chandeliers, Philippe Starck furniture, open spaces, natural elements throughout with leather and oak features, specially commissioned art and furniture pieces and maximum use of natural light".

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