Saturday 20 January 2018

Lloyds boot up process to sell off chunk of Irish hotels

Fota Island Resort Hotel in Cork
Fota Island Resort Hotel in Cork

Roisin Burke

The biggest owner of hotels in the country is offloading a stock of receivership hotels this month, it is understood.

Lloyds, through its disastrous commercial lending entity Bank of Scotland, owns 17 per cent of the Irish hotel market. Some of their establishments have been lined up to go on the market this week with more to follow soon, with a full sell-off endgame in sight.

Meanwhile, Red Bull multimillionaire Chanchai Ruayrungruang, the Thai Chinese magnate who made a fortune importing the energy drink to China, is back in the game here with an as yet unnamed Irish partner.

Ruayrungruang's Reignwood put up some €20m and got to due diligence stage on Fota Island Resort Hotel in Cork before withdrawing over rights of way and other issues.

In Dublin, Ritz Carlton and Marker Hotel owner Brehon Capital Partners, where the W Hotel in New York's Time Square owning Mozer family and Kevin McGillycuddy are involved, is a final bidder for Trinity Capital Hotel, thought to be likely to sell for around €30m.

Also mentioned in connection with the former O'Dwyer brothers' hotel and the two Dublin Clarion hotels currently for sale has been Russian billionaire Ellena Baturina.

Over a year ago Lloyds put in BDL, a British hotel management group, to run a score of regional hotels in receivership and get a solid picture of their prospects. Its Irish arm is run by Andrew Gill.

Two of the Bank of Scotland legacy hotels will come to market shortly: The Ambassador Hotel in Cork city and the Letterkenny Court in Donegal. More will follow.

The Carlton Atlantic Coast in Westport is for sale for €1.2m. The Riverside hotel and apartments in Sligo sold in a recent Allsop auction for €440,000.

Lloyds' main distress asset deal maker in Ireland, Paul Murphy, has departed to launch a new property fund with Cantor Fitzgerald.

Irish Independent

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