Denis O’Brien halts sale of Quinta do Lago resort in Portugal

Bids for exclusive resort set across 2,000 acres said to have fallen short of asking price

Denis O’Brien has halted the sale of Quinta do Lago, an exclusive resort in Portugal, after bids fell short of the asking price, a person with knowledge of the matter said.

Mr O’Brien sought about €220 million for the resort, according to the person, who asked not to be named because the matter is private. A spokesman for O’Brien in Dublin declined to comment.

Mr O’Brien, who is worth $4.2 billion according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, has had mixed fortunes of late in selling assets.

In Dublin on Wednesday, Canada's Alimentation Couche-Tard laid out plans to buy Mr O'Brien's Topaz Energy Group, which operates convenience stores and fuel retail businesses across Ireland, for an undisclosed price.

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In October, he pulled a share sale by Digicel, halting what would have been the second-biggest initial public offering in the US this year.

Mr O’Brien bought Quinta do Lago in the late 1990s for an undisclosed price, becoming the third owner of the resort that’s more than four times the size of Monaco.

Set across 2,000 acres of land on the southern tip of Portugal, Quinta do Lago's three golf courses, five-star hotels and multi-million-dollar villas facing the ocean have been a magnet for celebrities ranging from the late Formula One driver Ayrton Senna to Princess Caroline of Monaco.

A buyer would have controlled 25 acres of residential plots, 31 acres of commercial development opportunities and over 140 acres of residential development potential, according to a sales brochure.

"Quinta do Lago is without a doubt one of Europe's most exclusive holiday destinations," said Alison Buechner Hojbjerg, a director at Quinta Properties, a real estate agency selling luxury villas at the resort. "But the asking price was clearly a high price."

Bloomberg