‘Several parties’ circling Castletroy Park Hotel deal

Alan Owens

Reporter:

Alan Owens

A ‘number of parties’ remain interested in purchasing the Carlton Castletroy Park Hotel, despite reports that Chuck Feeney’s charitable organisation Atlantic Philanthropies is on the brink of buying the hotel at a fraction of the price it sold it for in 2004.

A ‘number of parties’ remain interested in purchasing the Carlton Castletroy Park Hotel, despite reports that Chuck Feeney’s charitable organisation Atlantic Philanthropies is on the brink of buying the hotel at a fraction of the price it sold it for in 2004.

While the billionaire philanthropist’s organisation remain strongly tipped to buy back the four-star, 107-room hotel, potentially on behalf of the University of Limerick, the Limerick Leader has established that there are a number of other interested parties still circling the deal, which one auctioneering source claimed recently would be potentially “the largest commercial deal done in Limerick in some years”.

The source acknowledged Feeney’s interest, but added: “There are still a number of parties still interested in the property. It is edging along”.

While Mr Feeney’s organisation sold the hotel for €25m in 2004, it is believed to be available for a fraction of that price. Atlantic Philanthropies declined to comment on reports linking them to the re-purchase of the hotel.

The Leader previously reported in March of this year that a deal with Mr Feeney to purchase the property had dramatically collapsed at the last hurdle.

The Carlton Hotel Group, operators of the hotel since 2009 after a previous company in charge of the hotel - Castletroy Park Management Ltd - went into liquidation with debts of €2.1m, acknowledged at the time that there had been activity with regard to the potential sale of the hotel, but stressed that “nothing has materialised”.

Michael Kearney, CEO of the Carlton group, said he was aware of strong speculation at the time “about certain transactions, none of which have materialised”.

“While there has been some activity, nothing has materialised,” he said. “We continue to be operators. I am sure we will be informed early if there are any developments and as of today we have not been informed.”

The hotel, which was opened by President Mary Robinson in 1991, is owned by CPH Investments Limited and is a subsidiary of parent company Fordmount Property Group Limited which has been in receivership for some time.

According to documents filed with the Companies Registration Office last September, Bank of Scotland Ireland holds as security a “first specific charge over the freehold land and premises of the company consisting of a 107 bedroom hotel on a circa 1 acre site with conference, restaurant, bar, leisure and car parking facilities, known as the Castletroy Park Hotel”.

The bank are believed to be exploring the sale of the hotel for a figure in the low millions.