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US billionaire John Malone pays €20m for top Limerick hotel

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Irish-American John Malone buys city’s Limerick Strand Hotel

Irish-American John Malone buys city’s Limerick Strand Hotel

John Malone

John Malone

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Irish-American John Malone buys city’s Limerick Strand Hotel

Irish-American businessman John Malone has agreed terms to buy the Limerick Strand Hotel in the city for close to €20m.

Mr Malone, who controls cable supplier UPC through his conglomerate Liberty Global, has already bought a number of hotels in Ireland over the past three years.

The include the Westin Hotel in Dublin for €60m, the Trinity City Hotel in Dublin for €30m and Humewood Castle for €8m.

The four-star Limerick Strand Hotel was developed at a cost of €40m in 2007. It was built on the site of the former Jurys Hotel and is part of a wider project by developer John Lally through his company Lalco.

The business, which caters to a wide range of customers, is believed to have made a profit of about €1.5m last year.

CBRE's Dermot Curtin and Savills' Tom Barrett acted as agents for the property, which was put on the market with a guide of €17m in September.

Located in the city centre, the hotel is about half an hour from Shannon Airport while the likes of Munster rugby's Thomond Park is also close by.

The hotel features 184 fully air-conditioned bedrooms, several bars and restaurants, extensive conference and banqueting facilities and a leisure club with close to 900 members.

Mr Malone is the largest landowner in the US, with holdings of more than 2.1m acres across the country.

In recent years he has been very active in the Irish property market, focusing mainly on the hotel sector. The latest acquisition brings Mr Malone's recent investment in the sector to €150m in the past three years.

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The Westin, the Hilton Hotel in Charlemont Place, and the Trinity City Hotel were all bought by Mr Malone but are operated through Mr Lally's Lalco Hotel Group.

The group employs 1,100 people. As well as the hotels Mr Malone has bought, Lalco also runs the Harbour Hotel in Galway and the Glenlo Abbey Hotel and Golf Club among several others.

The hotel sector has enjoyed something of a resurgence this year, as the economy begins to slowly recover from the economic crash.

As many as 45 hotels were sold in Ireland between January and September 2014, with a total value of some €280m.

That is more than €100m greater than the total value of hotels sold in all of 2013.

That figure is likely to rise sharply between now and the end of the year, with Nama preparing to launch a portfolio of at least five hotels in the coming days.


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