Belfast Telegraph

Ramada sold at last to City Hotel group after fierce competition

By John Mulgrew

The Ramada hotel in Portrush has been sold to City Hotel Group in a deal worth in excess of its £2.75m asking price.

The 69-bedroom north coast hotel was sold by commercial property firm CBRE, on behalf of administrators RSM McClure Watters.

It’s hoped that the deal will now secure the 50-strong workforce.

The hotel had been put into administration by Nama, back in April 2013 —having once been owned by the Kennedy family.

It’s understood there had been some fierce competition for the business, buoyed by a rebound in hotel property prices.

But the final sale price of the hotel was not revealed.

Brendan Duddy, chairman of Londonderry-based City of Derry Hotel Ltd said it now plans to “roll out an investment programme to enhance the existing Ramada hotel complex”.

“We have seen a notable uptake of space in the North West region, which gave us the confidence to invest in the Ramada, Portrush,” he said.

Gregg Sterritt of RSM McClure Watters said the sale “confirmed security for the hotel workforce of 50 employees”.

“It has traded successfully in administration over the course of the last 21 months,” he said. We believe that under the new owners, the Ramada Portrush will flourish.”

The deal comes as Jurys Inn — which operates one large hotel in Belfast among its 31 outlets — has been sold to US investors in a deal worth more than €900m (£680m).

The hotel group been sold by a group of investors, less than two years after restructuring its debt.

The deal was agreed by Texas-based private equity fund Lone Star to buy the hotel chain, from Oman Investment Fund, Mount Kellett Capital Management, Ulster Bank, Westmont Hospitality Group and Avestus Capital Partners. Jurys has one hotel in Northern Ireland, located in the heart of Belfast city centre. It opened in 1997 and now boasts 190 bedrooms.

The group currently employs 2,000 staff across 31 hotels in the UK, the Republic and Prague.

Jurys Inn was bought by developer Derek Quinlan in 2007 who then sold part of his stake a year later.

It’s understood there are currently no plans for staff cutbacks or job losses at its hotel in Belfast.

And the hotel group’s existing management team — led by chief executive John Brennan — will continue to lead the business.

Mr Brennan welcomed the hotel chain’s new owners.

“The substantial investment in our business and brand, coupled with the efforts of management and our employees, have allowed us to deliver record results in recent years,” he said.

Belfast Telegraph