Up to 20 interested in buying Adare Manor

Norma Prendiville

Reporter:

Norma Prendiville

SPECULATION about the future of Adare Manor has raised its head again this week following a report that there have been up to 20 expressions of interest in buying the property.

SPECULATION about the future of Adare Manor has raised its head again this week following a report that there have been up to 20 expressions of interest in buying the property.

A sum of €13m is being touted as the figure needed to buy out Adare’s debts, which are owed to AIB and secured on the property. But the property is now, according to the report, in NAMA.

The property includes Adare Manor’s 62bedroom hotel, over 60 villas and town houses and the Robert Trench Jones designed championship golf course. The course has hosted the Irish Open on two occasions and has been the home-base for the hugely successful JP McManus Pro-Am.

Last year, the Limerick Leader reported that a consortium was being assembled by Sean Melly of Powerscourt Capital Partners to raise the money to buy out the business on behalf of senior management. The senior management, it was understood, included Tom Kane’s son-in-law Gerard Cosgrove. At the time, however, all parties to the potential deal maintained silence and neither Mr Kane, Mr Cosgrove nor Mr Melly responded to requests for information from this paper.

A report in the latest Sunday Independent now suggests that this consortium is facing stiff competition with up to 20 expressions of interest lodged with NAMA. This ties in with what one commentator has called a “brisk trade” being done at the moment on Irish loans.

A buy-out by investors could wipe out the existing shareholders, among them, Tom Kane, the American businessman and fighter pilot who bought Adare Manor two decades ago.

Mr Kane and his extended family are believed to hold an 80% stake, with 20% held by Mr Kane himself.

The remaining 20% is owned by investors, among them Dermot Desmond

Tom Kane, who survived cancer in 2007, filed for bankruptcy in the US.

But Mr Kane’s affairs have been complicated by a claim being pursued by Manulife, a Canadian insurance company, which says Mr Kane owes them $13m, a claim rejected by Mr Kane’s lawyers.