Supermac’s boss snaps up hotel

A STRONG Irish buyer, Pat McDonagh of the Supermac’s restaurant chain, has emerged as the buyer of Cork’s purpose-built Charleville Park Hotel after very competitive bidding via agent Denis O’Donoghue of Savills.

Supermac’s boss snaps up hotel

It had a price of €3.75m but was bid well above that by a number of interested parties, mostly Irish. It is now the third hotel owned by the McDonagh family, joining the Lough Rea Hotel in their native county Galway, and the Castletroy Park Hotel in Limerick. Confirmation of the Co Cork purchase for a sum close to €5m comes in the same week as the McDonagh family opened the Barack Obama Plaza, a €7m-plus motorway filling station at Moneygall, with visitor centre commemorating the US president’s links to the village, on the Offaly-Tipperary border.

The only purpose-built station on the M7 Dublin-Limerick motorway, it is hoped to repeat the business mix of filling station and food halls and services in other locations, Mr McDonagh told the Irish Examiner.

The family-owned Supermac’s company, whose other brands and business interests include Papa Johns Pizza, Tim Horton Coffee and Fun World, employs up to 3,000 at summer peak, with about 105 Supermacs restaurants, many of them franchises. It was established in 1978 by former school teacher Pat McDonagh — who has since ‘done the maths’ on Irish business expansion.”

“We didn’t buy very much during the Celtic Tiger years, because costs were too high and sites too expensive, but there’s still good opportunities there now, prices are more realistic. This was an opportune time to buy the Charleville Park Hotel,” said Mr McDonagh, noting that he already knew the hotel well from regular visits and at one stage had three Supermacs outlets by Charleville, including one at Ballyhea.

The hands-on businessman said they would seek to develop the food trade at the 91-bed Charleville Park Hotel on six acres and would retain the existing staff, saving about 80 jobs.

There is no plan to build a special hotel brand right now, Mr McDonagh stated, but he would look at other suitable hotel buys, if available, and noted there were certain economies which could be made when running several hotels.

The Golden Vale district four-star hotel has 91 beds (it’s physically larger than Limerick’s 108-bed Castletroy Park Hotel, bought by the McDonaghs about two years ago) and has a 25m swimming pool with 1,300 leisure centre, conference centre/ function room for 800 persons.

Recently managed by BDL Ltd it was owned by the Cork Luxury Hotels Group, whose other properties included the Ambassador in Cork City, and Oriel House, in Ballincollig, which has been bought for close to €8m by Wexford-based Talbot Group, owners of four other Irish hotels, including the Stillorgan Park in Dublin.

Details: Savills, 021-4271371

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