Business Irish

Saturday 17 March 2018

Moran gets go-ahead to extend Red Cow

Tom Moran’s Guestford paid €8m for the Red Cow
Tom Moran’s Guestford paid €8m for the Red Cow
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Tom Moran has been given the go-ahead for a major multi-million euro expansion of his Red Cow Hotel in Dublin, in a move that will nearly double the number of bedrooms at the property.

The hotelier, who saw the bulk of his Moran Bewley group sold earlier this year to hotel firm Dalata in a €455m deal, retained the iconic Red Cow property after paying €8m for the venue.

The development of a new five-storey wing at the Red Cow complex will 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.

South Dublin County Council has told the company behind the Red Cow hotel, Guestford, that it must pay a €426,000 contribution to the authority in respect of public infrastructure and facilities that will benefit the development.

The near 100-bedroom extension comes amid continued demand in the capital for hotel rooms.

But hotels across the country are also generally doing better as the economy recovers.

A weak euro is also helping to lure visitors.

The Irish Hotels Federation said this month that 83pc of hoteliers have seen an increase in advance bookings for the summer season, while 85pc plan to invest in refurbishment and increased capital expenditure in the coming 12 months.

But 28pc of hoteliers also remain concerned about the viability of their businesses.

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.

Irish Independent

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