Record sales in sight as hotels spree continues

AS Irish hotel sales inch up to an end-of-year €500m tally, more hotels, north and south of the Border, have found new owners in the past week, in Wexford, Galway and Fermanagh.

Record sales in sight as hotels spree continues

Actively expansionist hotel operators the Dalata Group have continued their buying spree, paying €31.7m cash for the 157-bed Whites Hotel in Wexford, and the 195-bed Clayton Hotel, at Ballybrit, Galway.

And, across the Border, the Lough Erne Resort, in Co Fermanagh, which hosted the 2013 G8 summit, has been bought as a going concern by a US investor and golf fan, Tony Saliba, via an affiliate of US-based investors Tralee Portfolio Management. The same hospitality sector player is also understood to be actively looking at the Adare Manor trophy sale, guiding €27m, and which has more local interest also being shown by the likes of JP McManus.

On 345 acres, with a five-star hotel, lodges and golf course designed by six-time major winner Nick Faldo and associated with Rory McIlroy, the Lough Erne Resort had an initial guide of £10m via CBRE, selling for joint administrators KPMG, but is understood to have sold for less than this.

Meanwhile, CBRE Hotels were also involved in the sales of the Galway and Wexford hotels to Pat McCann’s Dalata Group. They formed part of Ulster Bank’s Project Nadal, with a €2.5m EBITDAR income in 2013.

Dalata CEO Pat McCann said: “The acquisitions are part of our strategy to assemble a portfolio of high-quality hotel assets in Ireland.”

Meanwhile, Savills report that Irish hotel sales may top a record €500m this year, and add “that figure could potentially double if, for example, the Moran and Bewleys hotel group — which own 10 hotels in Ireland and the UK (2,627 rooms) — is sold.

“With NAMA and Ulster Bank looking to accelerate disposals, portfolio sales have become more commonplace. Projects Venue, Crystal and Nadal alone will contain almost 20 Irish hotels in portfolio sales and they are attracting a range of buyers including existing hotel owners/operators, new market entrants and institutional investors with a mix of Irish, UK and US interests competing,” say Savills.

“Either way, 2014 will be a record year for hotel sales in the current market cycle.

It’s understood that among the hotel portfolios being touted is West Cork’s uncompleted Dunboy Castle, at Castletownebere.

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