Russian woman to buy landmark Dublin hotel

It has been reported that Yelena Baturina, wife of the former mayor of Moscow Yury Luzhkov and one of the richest women in Russia, is poised to buy the Morrison Hotel in Dublin from Nama, the Irish state assets agency. It is believed that Nama is in the advanced stages of completing the sale of the Morrison, which has been on the market since September last year, and is expected to fetch between €20 and €25 million. This price is around half the value placed on the hotel by Anglo Irish Bank back in the heady days of 2006.

The Moscow Times reports that Baturina is bidding for the Dublin hotel through a London-based asset management vehicle. It is believed that the deal has not yet been completed but is expected to be signed this week. Baturina’s bid is thought to be the highest of a shortlist of three or four formally made to Nama at the close of 2011. The Russian business woman is reported to be worth some $1.2 billion and has a wide range of interests including construction and manufacturing as well as farming and property.

The Morrison Hotel was part of businessman Hugh O’Regan’s pub and hotel portfolio until Martin Ferris was appointed as receiver to the business by Nama in 2010. The hotel was placed on the market by CBRE Hotels in September 2011 with formal bids being put in during November last year.

The Morrison is a four star hotel with 141 rooms located on Lower Ormond Quay in Dublin city centre. The hotel was built in 1999 and was designed by John Rocha. The hotel has an “East Meets West” theme and the stylish Dublin hotel is well-known for its great service, relaxed atmosphere and chic style. The hotel’s prime location in the heart of Dublin and its healthy profits were expected to appeal to international hotel investors. When the MTV awards were held in Dublin in 1999 The Morrison hosted the aftershow party headlined by Whitney Houston and since then it has become one of the trendiest hotels in Dublin.