Tetrarch Capital buys Clonmel Park hotel in Tipperary

Irish investment group in talks with UK chain to bring Z Hotels to Dublin

Irish investment group Tetrarch Capital has acquired the leasehold to the 99-bedroom Clonmel Park Hotel in Tipperary.

In an exclusive interview with Business This Week, Michael McElligott, chief executive of Tetrarch (formerly Brehon Capital) confirmed it had acquired the four-star property this week.

The former Brennan group hotel had been placed into receivership by AIB.

“The consideration was not significant. It’s not a particularly profitable hotel but we think we can make some changes to it,” he said.

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Mr McElligott said Tetrarch is also in talks with UK chain Z Hotels about bringing it to Dublin. Its rooms measure just 12sq m but are fitted out to a high standard, at affordable prices in prime locations. Z has six hotels in the UK, with two more slated for opening.

Very keen

“It’s a superb business,” Mr McElligott said. “They fit about two and a half times the number of bedrooms that you would get with your typical budget hotel and they don’t have significant food and beverage operations.

“We would love to bring them to Dublin and I think we will bring them to Dublin. They’re very keen.”

Tetrarch is "actively looking" at adding another hostel or budget hotel in Dublin to its €450 million portfolio, he said. Tetrarch has also received planning permission for a €10 million extension to its Mount Juliet resort in Carlow that will add 66 rooms, and will spend a similar amount upgrading the Citywest Hotel in Saggart and refreshing the brand.

In addition, Tetrarch wants to acquire a business park in the greater Dublin area and is considering launching a property fund through stockbroker Merrion Capital, in which it is a near 20 per cent shareholder.

Mr McElligott also said its five-star Powerscourt hotel in Enniskerry, formerly a Ritz-Carlton, pays more than €1 million a year in council rates and ground rent to the Slazenger family. “It’s got a level of fixed costs are particularly stomach churning,” he said.

The hotel lost on average €5 million annually in the years before its acquisition in 2013. Mr McElligott said its occupancy rate has improved from about 40 per cent to about 60 per cent. “Now it is profitable,” he said.

Ciarán Hancock

Ciarán Hancock

Ciarán Hancock is Business Editor of The Irish Times