Sunday 22 September 2019

Hotel in Quinn's former empire worth €222m

The Hilton Hotel in Prague was bought by Sean Quinn in 2004 for €145m
The Hilton Hotel in Prague was bought by Sean Quinn in 2004 for €145m
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

The Hilton Hotel in Prague - a jewel in former billionaire Sean Quinn's empire when it was bought in 2004 for €145m - has been valued at €222m.

That's a 30pc increase over a €170m valuation placed on the property just 12 months earlier.

Accounts for the company behind the luxurious five-star hotel show that the latest valuation was placed on the property by Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels at the end of 2016. It reflects improvements made to the 791-bedroom hotel as well as a better trading performance.

The valuation also means that the hotel is now worth almost as much as the outstanding debt connected to the property, with IBRC owed €230m at the end of last year.

The accounts also show that €30m in excess cash reserves were used last year to repay some of the debt owed to IBRC, formerly Anglo Irish Bank.

The pace of debt repayment could accelerate from this year.

"The group is expected to generate significant cash flows on its own account through the remainder of 2017 and into 2018," the accounts for Quinn Group Hotels note. The firm's accounts only represent the Hilton Hotel operation in Prague.

Turnover at the hotel in 2016 hit €46.2m, compared to €45.9m in 2015.

The firm said the performance "continues to represent significant sales volume". The hotel is the biggest in the Czech Republic.

The property turned an operating profit of €893,000 in 2016 compared to €103,000 in 2015.

But interest payments of almost €2.3m pushed it to a pre-tax loss of €1.3m. It made a pre-tax loss of €3m in 2015.

"The group's 2017 budget indicates that positive earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation will be achievable in the year ended 31 December 2017," the accounts add.

Shares in Quinn Group Hotels are owned by Collette Quinn, the daughter of Sean Quinn. But the firm and its assets are controlled by receivers.

In late 2014, the Hilton Hotel in Prague was put up for sale with a €180m price tag. But Mr Quinn took legal action in 2015 to prevent the sales process from proceeding.

Mr Quinn, whose business empire collapsed in 2011, also previously controlled hotels including the Slieve Russell in Co Cavan.

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