Russian billionaire sells Morrison hotel to UK-based private equity firm
Zetland Capital, a London-based private equity firm, has purchased the Morrison Hotel in Dublin. No price was disclosed, but it was reported in March that the deal is expected to go through worth over 65 million euros.
The 145-room boutique hotel on the Dublin Quays was owned by billionaire Russian investor Elena Baturina, who bought it from Nama in 2012 for 22 million euros.
This is the second major hotel sale in Dublin announced in the past 10 days. The 157-bed Moxy Dublin City hotel, on Sackville Place just off O’Connell Street, was sold earlier this month by the Spitzer family’s Midwest Holding group for 35 million euros to MHL Hotel Collection.
Nama took control of the Morrison after acquiring the loans from its promoter, the late Hugh O’Regan. The property designed by John Rocha was the first hotel sold by Nama after the crash.
Ms Baturina is said to have invested nearly 10 million euros in renovating the property. The hotel currently operates as Doubletree, a four-star luxury brand owned by Hilton.
Announcing the deal, Zetland said plans were being drawn “for modernization and new investments”.
“We have a very active pipeline of leisure and hospitality opportunities across Europe. We understand the importance of the tourism sector to the Irish economy, ”said Ahmed Hamdani, investment manager at Zetland.
Dave Murray of CBRE Sales Agents said: “The Morrison is one of Dublin’s most iconic and established upscale hotels. ”
“This transaction demonstrates the confidence of the international investment community in the strong fundamentals of the Dublin City Center hotel market over the long term,” he said.
Zetland Capital was advised by David Webster, the former Managing Director of the five star Powerscourt Hotel in Enniskerry, Wicklow.
Recently filed accounts for Swift Row, the hotel’s management company, show that in 2019 it had a turnover of 13.1 million euros, while it made a profit of 2, 2 million euros. Ms Baturina’s investment company, which also owns properties in Austria and Russia, received € 1.5 million in dividends in 2019.
Ms Baturina, the wife of former Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov, decided to sell the hotel early last year. The timing was unlucky, however, as it hit the market with a guide price of around € 80million just as the pandemic struck, severely affecting the hospitality industry.
The Morrison and Moxy are the first major deals in the industry since the start of the pandemic.