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HOTELS€111m deal for Shelbourne

US INVESTMENT firm Kennedy Wilson is set to take control of Dublin's iconic Shelbourne Hotel on Friday in a €111m deal.

Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (formerly Anglo Irish Bank) and Bank of Ireland are selling debt they own that's attached to the hotel property that's played host to celebrities and dignitaries from Richard Burton to Julia Roberts and Michelle Obama.

Kennedy Wilson, already a big investor in Irish property, is due to take control of the loans attached to the hotel, paying about $152m (€111m) for them.

Irish commercial property sales hit their highest level last year since 2006 as investors including US billionaire John Malone chased deals. The value of Irish commercial property slumped after the bubble burst, but there has been strong demand in the capital for prime office and commercial space.

The Shelbourne Hotel was bought by a group of Irish investors in 2004 for about €140m. The investors spent a further €125m refurbishing the property – significantly more than had been originally budgeted.

Bank of Ireland and Anglo Irish Bank loaned the money for the purchase and the refurbishment. But they were keeping quiet yesterday on any impending sale of the debt to Kennedy Wilson.