Monday 23 April 2018

The Punt: Gresham Hotel sale hots up

The Gresham Hotel
The Gresham Hotel

The property boom just keeps on going, or so it seems.

First round bids for the Gresham Hotel were submitted last Thursday, and it looks like the hotel will sell for north of €85m.

"Winning" bids will go through to a second round which is expected to take place within the next month. CBRE and Christie & Co, which are running the sale process, will inform bidders if they have made it through round one later this week.

There was no shortage of interest, with as many as 84 non-disclosure agreements signed by potential buyers.

For the moment though, the sale is notable for who hasn't bid, with Dalata and US business tycoon John Malone both declining to submit an offer.

The Gresham is not the only major hotel on the market in the capital, After weeks of speculation, Blackstone has put the old Burlington Hotel on the block as well. Unlike a "normal" sales process, Savills' Tom Barrett is approaching potential buyers directly. Reports have indicated that the hotel is being pitched for €140m but The Punt hears its price is closer to €180m.

We reckon Mr Barrett will have earned his fee if he gets that price.

Itching to crack the Irish market

The Punt is no branding expert but surely naming your business after a fungal infection is a strange move.

Whether it was or not it hasn't stopped the progression of global sports retailer The Athlete's Foot.

The bizarrely branded US-founded business is coming to Ireland under Elverys Intersport.

Elverys snapped up the franchise for Ireland and will open the first outlet this week in Cork, below.

Like all good infections The Athlete's Foot is looking to grow.

The company, which specialises in runners, is looking to add another three stores on top of the Cork one and aims to have 28 staff here by the end of the year. Despite the name, The Athlete's Foot has garnered significant success in its 45-year lifespan, boasting 471 stores in 26 countries.

In 2012 Swiss-based Intersport acquired The Athlete's Foot for an undisclosed fee.

The move could prove to be a successful one for Elverys as it taps into the designer fitness craze.

Brexit briefing for SMEs

Small and medium-sized businesses will be briefed this morning on the potential implications on their operations of a possible British withdrawal from the European Union. The remain side may be enjoying some momentum in the wake of President Obama's intervention last week, but the possibility of a Brexit is worrying many businesses here at home.

Today's event at the Hilton Hotel, Dublin Airport, organised by the National Export Campaign, an initiative of the Irish Exporters Association, is designed to offer an opportunity for SMEs to learn about the range of supports available through the association, and a range of state agencies.

The association's chief executive, Simon McKeever, will outline the effect on exports into the UK market in the event of a Brexit.

"Ultimately if the UK votes to leave the EU and subsequently fails to agree equally favourable trade terms with it, Irish companies exporting to the UK will possibly face the introductions of tariffs, border controls and a sharp fall in sterling," he said.

Irish Independent

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