Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 27 November 2014

Lough Erne golf resort to be sold next year

The troubled Lough Erne Resort is set to be put on the market in spring next year, it has emerged.

A report from administrators KPMG filed at Companies House this week said the resort was continuing to trade but would eventually be sold.

Bank of Scotland (Ireland) appointed administrators in May to Castle Hume Leisure - the company behind the five-star Fermanagh venue - over debts of £26.4m.

KPMG said a "small number" of redundancies have been made among the resort's 224 employees since it was appointed.

Hotel specialist Tifco Ltd is managing the business and its Nick Faldo-designed golf course, which is endorsed by US Open-winning golfer Rory McIlory.

The report by Stuart Irwin and John Hansen said: "We are regularly monitoring our trading, sales and marketing strategies in order to improve efficiency.

"The longer-term strategy is to eventually market and sell the resort."

The report added: "There have been a number of expressions of interest in the resort and these individuals will all be contacted once we are in a position to bring the hotel to market."

It's understood commercial property agency CBRE plans to put the resort on the market in spring next year.

The administrators' report also said "commercially sensitive and confidential" legal issues were being dealt with. It's understood these relate to a right-of-way.

Property insiders believe it is unlikely that a Northern Irish operator will be interested but that a UK-based chain could be tempted to take a look. Original owner Jim Treacy vowed earlier this year to win back the hotel but did not wish to comment yesterday.

Administrators believe unsecured creditors are owed £3.5m but that company records were not clear. But they do not believe "there will be sufficient realisations to facilitate a distribution to unsecured creditors".

The update also reveals a "small number" out of 80 weddings which were booked to take place over the next two years were cancelled. But it added: "The resort is continuing to see a number of further weddings being booked."

£26.4m - The debt that forced the Lough Erne Resort into administration

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