Doyle hotels nets $90 million from sale of Boston property

Irish chain plans to use proceeds to bolster position in London market


The Irish-owned Doyle Collection hotel group received $90 million from the sale of its Back Bay hotel in Boston in mid-February, The Irish Times has learned.

US-based Loews Hotels & Resorts acquired the 225-room, four-star hotel in Boston from the Doyle chain. The sale price was not disclosed at the time of the deal.

The hotel has been converted to a Loews Hotels brand and the New York- based company has announced plans to spend $8 million renovating it.

The Doyle Collection put the Boston hotel on the market late last year through estate agent CBRE after receiving unsolicited approaches.

[CROSSHEAD]Keen interest
[/CROSSHEAD]It is understood there was keen interest in the property and the price achieved was considered strong. The Back Bay is a leased hotel that has been operated by the Doyle Collection since 2004.

The lease was acquired in 2002 by the former listed Jurys Doyle Hotel Group, a predecessor to the Doyle Collection.

Jurys Doyle paid $20 million for the lease and invested $45 million in redeveloping the former Boston police department’s headquarters.

The Doyle group is also selling two of its three hotels in Washington DC – the Marriott Courtyard Hotel and the Normandy Hotel. It plans to retain ownership of the Dupont Circle Hotel in the US capital.

The sale processes for these hotels are “progressing well” with “strong interest” in both, a source close to the company said. The Doyle group is expected to redeploy the proceeds of these sales to bolster its position in the London market, where it already has three large four-star properties.

[CROSSHEAD]Debt refinancing
[/CROSSHEAD]The company, controlled by the Doyle and Beatty families, must complete a refinancing of its debt later this year.

Latest accounts for Doyle Hotels (Holdings) Ltd show that it has bank debt of ¤331.2 million, which falls due for settlement in November 2013. The company had net cash of ¤27.9 million on its books at the end of 2010. The Doyle Collection operates 10 properties in Ireland, the UK and the US. These include the five-star Westbury in Dublin and the four-star Croke Park hotel.