Morrison Hotel Sale Attracts 60 Expressions of Interest

Dublin-based Thomas Read Holdings has attracted interest from more than 60 parties after announcing it is seeking a buyer or a strategic investor to take its Morrison hotel format to other capital cities and expand its bars business. A spokesman for the privately-owned company said that half of the enquiries came from British firms and that interest ranged from public companies to private investors. They have until 26 April to submit their bids. Thomas Read owns the 94-bedroom Morrison hotel in Dublin, which was designed by John Rocha and Douglas Wallace, along with 11 modern Irish and European-style café bars. It also has a nine-year contract to run the bars at Dublin airport until April 2008. Chairman and majority shareholder Hugh O’Regan (who has a 75% stake in the business) wants to focus on other private investments, including the Kilternan hotel and country club in County Dublin. However, he does intend to retain some interest in the Morrison hotel. The company is prepared to sell the hotel separately from the bars, and one option is a management buy-out of the bars business led by the other shareholders, who are managing director Anthony Kenna, Declan O’Regan and Martin Conroy.

The company has a gross value, including debts, of €60m-70m (£37m-43m). Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation this year are expected to reach €1.5m (£924,000) for the hotel and €5.4m (£3.3m) for the bars.