Francis Brennan gives up full control - but investment ensures 'a bright future' for five-star hotel
A substantial investment has seen TV personality and hotelier Francis Brennan give up complete ownership of his luxury five-star Park Hotel.
The popular businessman has ceded part of his shareholding in the business following a cash injection by Fergal Naughton, chief executive of manufacturing giant Glen Dimplex.
Prior to the deal, Francis Brennan, the star of RTÉ's 'At Your Service', had enjoyed 100pc control of the hotel business since 1986.
The deal also allows Mr Brennan's brother, John Brennan, to take a shareholding for the first time.
John Brennan told the Irish Independent the Brennans "will remain in control of the hotel" in Kenmare, Co Kerry.
Mr Brennan said: "There are no losers in this deal. The loss of the percentage ownership of the Park Hotel for Francis was a small price to pay for the position we are in now.
"We have eliminated all our debt with the bank and the future is very bright. We have strengthened our financial base. We have protected our future and given ourselves the ability to reinvest in a way we wouldn't have been able to before the deal."
He added: "We have weathered the rough years and now we have turned the corner and 2016 was even better than 2015."
New accounts show the Park Hotel recorded profits of €211,155 in 2015, resulting in accumulated profits of €2.23m at the end of December 2015. The hotel's loans at the end of 2015 totalled €5.3m.
However, Mr Brennan said it was getting harder to make "real money" in the hotel business and the firm would not have been able to reinvest in the hotel from operational profits alone.
Mr Brennan declined to state what exact percentage Mr Naughton has of the hotel business or what value the deal puts on the hotel enterprise. He stated that "it is a very substantial investment".
On the deal, Francis Brennan said: "I have spent my whole professional life in the Park Hotel Kenmare. It is very personal to me and it is not everyone I would share it with… but to bring a new partner on board, to understand the Park, its wonderful staff, its many regular guests and, most important, to understand our vision, we are very pleased to welcome Fergal."
Mr Naughton said yesterday: "For many years I have been a customer, guest and admirer of the Park Hotel Kenmare, its people and ethos. As an investor, this will only blossom."