Five bidders vying for €12m G8 Lough Erne summit hotel
The luxury hotel which hosted the most peaceful G8 in history could be sold by the end of the summer, it was revealed today.
More than five prospective buyers are vying for ownership of the five-star Lough Erne resort, which is on the market for around £10m (€12m).
Brian Lavery, managing director of CBRE in Northern Ireland, which was appointed by joint administrators KPMG to handle the sale, said there was significant interest from across the world.
"There are more than a handful of bidders," he said. "They are both local and international parties. There was a lot of interest - 60 confidentiality agreements were issued which just shows the great width of interest.
"We would be hopeful of going through the process and allocating a preferred bidder by the end of the summer."
The profile of the Lough Erne resort was significantly boosted by global publicity arising out of the two-day conference earlier this month.
So-called 'best bids' had to be submitted by June 13 - before the G8 summit.
But pictures of the world's most powerful leaders including US president Barack Obama, Russian premier Vladimir Putin and German chancellor Angela Merkel relaxing by the banks of Lough Erne helped showcase exactly what is up for grabs and has stimulated a rise in bookings.
Mr Lavery added: "The process was already under way - people that are looking at this would not be doing it on a whim, but the G8 didn't hurt.
"We can see that bookings are up. I thought the resort looked excellent on the television and in the newspaper photographs."
The 120-bedroom golf resort and spa opened in 2007 but went into administration in May 2011. It was initially put on the market last September but had to be taken off after just two months because a fire caused substantial damage to the pool area.
Once valued at £30m, it boasts two championship 18-hole golf courses, including one designed by Ryder Cup record holder Nick Faldo, as well as a golf village with 66 top-quality lodges.
Meanwhile, a new report has claimed Northern Ireland is unlikely to enjoy any clear, meaningful and measurable economic recovery if it does not get a grip on its debt.
Conall Mac Coille, chief economist of Davy Ireland and author of a new report on the state of the local economy, told more than 60 business leaders in Belfast that the unique make-up of the local banking sector and lack of data meant the true extent of the challenges could not be assessed.
"As is the case in the Republic of Ireland and elsewhere in the UK, since the start of the recession, tightened credit availability in Northern Ireland has reflected the cost of acquiring funds, capital requirements and a change in the assessment of risk.
"However, policy initiatives designed to promote credit availability are complicated by the dominant presence of non-UK banks - and specifically those from the Republic of Ireland, which have become more focused on reducing their debts under the terms of the EU/IMF bailout. This can be constraining to lending in Northern Ireland.
"All of these factors could well mean that the Bank of England's Funding for Lending programme, which was designed to help the economy, has had limited scope in improving the flow of credit to help Northern Ireland households and businesses," he said.