Irish Economy in recovery as Brehon confirms itself as a major investment and development group

In the High Court on Tuesday, the green light was given for the sale of Killashee House Hotel near Naas in Co Kildare to Brehon Capital Partners and Midwest Holdings for a sum of €13 million, and in doing so, it has secured 182 jobs.

Killashee House Hotel is a 4 star hotel that was placed into examinership in May 2014. It was controlled by the local developer Jack Tierney. The hotel had a successful wedding business hosting 160 weddings in 2013. From their website, they describe themselves as “timeless, natural and elegant where we understand space, fun and food”. The hotel is a successful one but it was burdened by too much debt from the Celtic Tiger era.

Killashee is one of five hotels that Brehon and their investment partners have secured, following the recent purchases of the Marker in Dublin’s docklands, Powerscourt (formerly the Ritz Carlton) in Enniskerry, Mount Juliet in Co Kilkenny and Mount Wolseley in Carlow. It’s next target is believed to be the Citywest complex in Saggart, Co Dublin, for around the €30 million mark, which could be subject to a legal challenge from the family of the late Jim Mansfield, who developed the complex.

Kilashee House Hotel

Renovations and Re-branding

The task will be difficult as each of these properties all have a separate brand, which targets different clienteles and segments in the marketplace. Each hotel is a key part to the puzzle being pieced together by Brehon as it seeks to establish itself as a major investment and development group in the recovering Irish economy.

Kevin McGillycuddy, who heads Brehon, has quoted that Killashee was a “fine hotel” with good growth prospects.

“It has solid cash flow and also a strong wedding business,” he said. “All the hotels we’re involved in have unique attractions. We feel we can make incremental improvements to them. Killashee is another place where we’d like to make improvements.”

Currently the group, Brehon, and its partners are planning and evaluating the level of investment required for the Killashee Hotel. The group are willing to invest between €30 million and €40 million across the five hotels that are now part of its property portfolio to enhance their product offerings.

There is some expertise in Brehon, with Adrian Shanagher, the former senior executive with Captial Bars Hotel and pub group, which was run by the O’Dwyer brothers, who is now acting as a consultant for Brehon.

More than just hotels

Brehon sees the possibility to gain additional revenue streams at the largest hotel resort in Ireland, shy of nearly 800 bedrooms, substantial function and convention space, and adjoining golf facilities. If the Citywest deal was to go ahead, Brehon is believed to be prepared to invest around €10 million in the Citywest Hotel in order to upgrade the current facilities.

Brehon currently have a portfolio circa of €400 million in assets under management. It has also acquired the Ulysses Portfolio of 25 properties that were previously associated with Liam Carroll and ended up with the National Asset Management Agency, NAMA.

These properties largely stretch along the red Luas line in central Dublin from Smithfield down to Macken House in the IFSC. It recently secured UTV as a major tenant in Macken House for its new Dublin headquarters.