Morrison Hotel management company contract ended

Russian investor Elena Baturina dismisses Martinez Holding


Elena Baturina, the wealthy Russian investor who owns the Morrison Hotel in Dublin, has sacked Martinez Holding, the hotel's management company, following a financial dispute.

She is in negotiations with US company Interstate Hotels and Resorts to take over the running of the Morrison and two hotels in Russia and the Czech Republic. A fourth hotel she owns that was run by Martinez, the Grand Tirolia resort hotel in Austria, is to be run by its local management.

Martinez is linked to Martinez Hotels and Resorts, an Austrian company that announced plans in 2011 to build a pan-European hotel- operating company. It signed a deal with Ms Baturina to run the Morrison, a boutique hotel developed in the boom by the late Hugh O’Regan, after she paid a Nama receiver about €20 million for the property in 2012.

The hotel was closed for several months for refurbishment costing €7.5 million. It reopened last February under the DoubleTree by Hilton banner, but managed by Martinez.

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Ms Baturina, who is reportedly Russia’s richest woman, confirmed she had terminated the contract last month for the Morrison and the other hotels. She alleged it was due to “the non-fulfilment of the contractual obligations to ensure the development and profitability” of the hotels.

Michael Regner, a founding partner of Martinez, who oversaw the revamp of the Morrison, was unavailable for comment but is known to reject the assertion that it did not fulfil its contract.

Since Ms Baturina cancelled the contract, Martinez Holding has entered insolvency proceedings in Austria. “Mrs Baturina has not ruled out allowing the hotels to operate under direction of their immediate heads, without a managing company. [But] negotiations are being held with Interstate Hotels and Resorts to take over the contracts,” her office said yesterday.

Mr Regner was a speaker at a property conference in December at another Doubletree hotel in Dublin, at which he gave details of the Morrison revamp and outlined Martinez’s plans to build up the business in the coming years. Accounts filed for Martinez at the Companies Registration office, show the Morrison was profitable prior to its refurbishment.

Mark Paul

Mark Paul

Mark Paul is Business Affairs Correspondent of The Irish Times. He also writes the Caveat column