Business Irish

Friday 24 May 2019

US mogul John Malone buys up former Tony O'Reilly estate Castlemartin for €28m

Media Mogul John Malone forking out for former estate in Co Kildare

John Malone
Castlemartin (Pictures Knight Frank)
Castlemartin (Pictures: Knight Frank)
Castlemartin (pictures Knight Frank)
Castlemartin (Pictures: Knight Frank)
Castlemartin (pictures Knight Frank)
Castlemartin (pictures: Knight Frank)
Castlemartin, (Pictures Knight Frank)
Castlemartin stables
Tony O’Reilly’s Castlemartin home in 1990.
Tony O'Reilly with his wife

Peter Flanagan

Media mogul John Malone has forked out nearly €30m for the former estate of businessman Tony O'Reilly.

Media mogul John Malone, who controls cable company UPC among several interests, has agreed terms to buy the Castlemartin estate in Co Kildare for €28m.

While the deal has yet to formally close, terms are understood to have been agreed and contracts have been arranged, although the actual payment has yet to be made.

At that price the deal would be one of the most expensive in the history of the state. Walford in Dublin 4 cost €58m in 2005.

The Castlemartin estate includes a period house and 750 acres of top-quality stud farm and related lands. The property is being sold on the instructions of AIB, to whom Mr O'Reilly's companies owe over €22m. The 1720-built mansion has eight bedrooms and spans 26,000 sqm. The complex also has a swimming pool and an ice-house.

The property is believed to have attracted interest from both domestic and overseas bidders.

Read more: Seven things to know about Castlemartin

As well as Mr Malone, Limerick businessman JP McManus is believed to have run the rule over the property before buying Adare Manor, while a number of Asian investors are also believed to have explored bidding.

Last month, the Irish Independent reported that serious bids had been made for Castlemartin within days of it being formally put on the market by agents Knight Frank and Jordan Town & Country.

Castlemartin is the latest in a string of purchases in Ireland by Mr Malone, who is known to be proud of his Irish heritage.

The 73-year-old controls Liberty Media, a US television and communications conglomerate. It is the parent company of Irish cable TV provider UPC.

Mr Malone, who is worth an estimated $7.5bn, owns about 2.1 million acres in the US but has gone on a shopping spree in Ireland since the crash.

In 2012, he bought Humewood Castle for €8m, and has followed that up with numerous hotels and lands. He paid an estimated €72m for the Westin Hotel in central Dublin this summer, as well as €20m for the Limerick Strand Hotel.

He missed out on Mount Juliet in Co Kilkenny but bought the Ballylinch Stud in Co Kildare as a going concern earlier this month.

All told he has spent upwards of €150m on Irish property over the past two years.

Irish Independent

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