A consortium involving billionaire US investor John Malone has bought one of Dublin’s leading hotels.
John Malone Partnership (JMP), which also includes Paul Higgins and Lalco, has agreed to acquire the five-star InterContinental Hotel in Ballsbridge, formerly known as the Four Seasons, from London & Regional Property for an undisclosed sum.
JMP and InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG) plan to invest over €5 million in the landmark hotel beside the RDS.
The partnership already owns the five-star Westin Hotel on College Green as well as the Trinity City Hotel, the Hilton Dublin and the Limerick Strand Hotel.
Mr Malone, the biggest landowner in the US, has been heavily investing in Ireland in recent times.
The 73-year-old has bought properties including Humewood Castle in Co Wicklow for €8m, Ballylinch Stud near Thomastown, Co Kilkenny, and Castlemartin, the 750-acre Kildare estate formerly owned by Tony O’Reilly, for a reported €28m.
Known as the ‘Cable Cowboy’, he is chairman of the board of Liberty Global, the world’s largest international cable company with revenues of $20 billion and operations in 14 countries.
Liberty Global’s consumer brands include UPC and Virgin Media.
The InterContinental Hotel, which had traded as the Four Seasons since it opened in 2001, was bought by London & Regional in mid-2011.
Since January 2015, it has been operated as the InterContinental Hotel, under a franchise agreement from IHG.
The luxury hotel has 197 rooms including 58 suites, an indoor swimming pool, spa & fitness centre, two restaurants and two bars.
It also houses two ballrooms totalling more than 1,400 square metres.
Mr Higgins said: “John Malone and partners are thrilled to be associated with a hotel that holds such a special place in the hearts and minds of discerning visitors to Dublin. Our €5m upgrade will further enhance all aspects of the visitor experience.”