Blackstone in talks to buy stake in hotels once owned by Dunne
Former Berkley Court, Towers and Jurys Hotel part of portfolio being sold
The real estate, once Ireland’s most expensive, is being sold by the administrators of the UK unit of failed Icelandic lender Kaupthing Bank hf, two people with knowledge of the matter said.
Kaupthing Singer and Friedlander Ltd.’s administrators, EY, declined to comment on the transaction. A spokesman for Blackstone, the biggest manager of private-equity real estate funds, also declined to comment.
His banks, Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc’s Ulster Bank, Rabobank and Kaupthing, took control of the hotels in 2009 after planning authorities refused Dunne permission to redevelop the 6.8-acre site amid a real-estate market collapse.
The UK Treasury put Kaupthing Singer and Friedlander into administration in the UK in 2008 as it went into default. Mr Dunne was declared bankrupt in Ireland’s High Court last month.
Blackstone is among a wave of US investors, including Kennedy-Wilson Holdings and Oaktree Capital Group, to snap up Irish real-estate assets in the past two years.
Blackstone, based in New York, bought the 501-bedroom Burlington Hotel in the same district in November for €67 million from Lloyds Banking Group. That’s less than a quarter of the €288 million an Irish real-estate developer Bernard McNamara paid for the property in 2007. McNamara was declared bankrupt in the UK last year