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Gresham Hotel on market for £63m

By Peter Flanagan

The Republic's bad bank Nama will seek €80m (£63m) for the Gresham Hotel when it formally puts it up for sale today.

CBRE and Christies have been tasked with selling the Dublin hotel - a popular destination for overnight visitors from Northern Ireland.

The Gresham, which opened in 1817, is by far the most prestigious hotel on the north side of Dublin.

It has hosted numerous stars over the years, from Grace Kelly to The Beatles, and for decades was the base of teams playing in the All Ireland Finals.

The hotel is owned by Precint Investments, which took over the hotel in 2004 in a €117m (£92m) buyout of Gresham Hotel Group.

Debt associated with that buyout resulted in Nama taking over loans tied to the Gresham in 2011.

A host of potential buyers are likely to cast their eye over the property in the weeks ahead.

Dalata, owner of the Clayton Hotel in Belfast and the Maldron Hotel at Belfast International Airport, has been the big buyer of domestic hotels since the crash. And chief executive Pat McCann has made no secret of his interest in the Gresham.

He has admitted, though, that the sale price may be beyond his firm.

Windward Management is headed by former Gresham chief executive Patrick Coyle and teamed up with Boston-based Pyramid Hotel Group to buy the Temple Bar Hotel last year and is likely to bid.

Other potential buyers include Goldman Sachs, while US media mogul John Malone has bought a string of Irish hotels since the crash. The Gresham is being sold as an "unencumbered" asset, meaning the buyer could drop the name if they wished.

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