Irish consortium buys 5-star hotel for over €20m

Kilkenny’s five-star Lyrath Hotel has just been sold for well over €20m to an Irish consortium of buyers who plan to invest further in the 170-acre resort investment, which was developed at a boom-time cost of €50m.

The new consortium of owners was represented by Conor Pyne of O’Connor Pyne & Co Accountants, who also advised the Chinese buyers of the €20m Fota Estate in Cork, three years ago. Lyrath is said to be very profitable, and the new investor owners will upgrade it further, to top five-star standards, said Mr Pyne, after a period being run as a going concern by receivers KPMG.

While not identifying the new owners individually, Mr Pyne said neither the Kang family nor other Chinese buyers are involved, and nor is Lyrath’s previous owner, Xavier McAuliffe. He said the consortium invested in other, smaller hotel opportunities, advised by O’Connor Pyne & Co, and they now see scope for further development and growing revenue and profitability even more in this high-calibre, south Leinster resort.

Lyrath was developed by well-known Irish businessman and hotelier Xavier McAuliffe, who developed several Irish and South African hotels.

It was built around a 17th century residence on the outskirts of Kilkenny City, and opened in 2006, with 139 rooms and banquet facilities, on a 170-acre estate previously acquired by Mr McAuliffe and a consortium for €6m.

A second Kilkenny hotel developed by Mr McAuliffe, the 90-bed River Court Hotel in the city centre, was sold last year for around €9m to hotelier Seamus Neville by KMPG.

Selling agent Dermot Curtin of CBRE said Lyrath is “one of Ireland’s most popular and successful five-star resort hotels, and has sold as a going concern”, after widespread interest since going to the open market in March 2016, with a very popular wedding and function custom.

Irish consortium buys 5-star hotel for over €20m

“It has very substantial forward business on the books for both 2016 and 2017, further underpinning the future success of the resort for many years to come,” added Mr Curtin, noting that the consortium buyers advised by O’Connor Pyne “have an excellent, skilled team of highly motivated and expert hotel professionals on board with them”.

Lyrath also holds the Kilkenny Convention Centre, with facilities for up to 1,800. It has 10 breakout rooms, restaurants, bars, conservatory, lounges, private dining rooms, Oasis Spa, health club, 24-seat private cinema, and equestrian facilities.

Spokesman Conor Pyne said: “The investors have an ambitious capital investment programme to enhance Lyrath to be one of the leading luxury destinations in the country.”


Throw all the veg you’ve got into this easy dish.Jack Monroe’s recalibration supper recipe

In a time when our shopping and cooking needs to be efficient and easy, we are bringing back our One List, Five Meals recipe pages.Michelle Darmody's One list, Five meals

What is the future of fashion and how will the ‘high street’ look when this is all over? Corina Gaffey asks those in the knowThe future of fashion: How the crisis will impact the retail industry and what we wear

Surveying the global market, Des O’Sullivan says when the going gets tough, the tough get goingHow art world is putting changed times in picture

More From The Irish Examiner