Top hotels draw interest

AS developer Bernard McNamara’s misguided Burlington hotel purchase is put back for sale at a quarter the price he paid for it only five years ago, one of his other hotels is close to a sale via a receiver.

The Cork International Airport Hotel is set to sell for around its asking price, between €4m and €5m, according to sources.

The 145-bed airport hotel went up for sale with Savills in June, guiding €4.75m, having cost a reported c €35m to develop. A Savills spokesperson would only comment that it was under very active negotiation, and had attracted 100 inquiries.

Meanwhile, CBRE are charged with the sale of Dublin’s landmark 501-bed Burlington hotel which is expected to find an international buyer and chain/brand operator.

Its guide is €65m to €75m, a quarter of the €288m paid for it by McNamara as a development play in 2007, when he paid a further €100m for the adjoining Allianz site. His debts now are in the €1.5bn to €2bn bracket.

Built 40 years ago by PV Doyle, the Burlington has a massive conference and banquet business and is generating profits of €6m to 7m a year, according to some reports. It is being sold by receiver Paul McCann of Grant Thornton, and has been run under receivership/management via operators Tifco and trades very successfully on discounted rates.

It is currently unbranded and not linked to any international chain, and possible future names over the door could come from the likes of Marriott, Hyatt, Hilton or Sheraton.

Recent Dublin hotel sales include the Morrison for €22m to a Russian buyer, the Four Seasons to a London consortium for c €15m, an uncompleted Grand Canal hotel and 84 apartments for €30m, the Chief O’Neill in Smithfield to a European buyer for €8.5m, and the Fleet Hotel to an Irish buyer for €10m.

CBRE’s Paul Collins predicted the sale would generate strong worldwide interest. It’s due to host 1,000 US football fans this weekend for a Notre Dame/Navy college football clash on Sep 1. Definitely time to hoist the ‘For Sale’ banner.

Meanwhile, reports of a private sale of a top Kenmare hotel currently appear to wide of the mark, or at least premature, according to sources who say multi-million euro sale terms which had been agreed on the well-know property and business have stalled.

Details: Savills 021-4271371, CBRE 01-6185500

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