Sold – The Hilton Dublin Airport Hotel, Northern Cross, Dublin 17

Dublin, 8 March 2016 – CBRE Hotels Dublin on behalf of their clients, the P. J. Walls Holdings Group are delighted to confirm that unconditional contracts of sale have now been exchanged for the Hilton Dublin Airport Hotel, a high quality 4 star Hilton branded hotel asset – in an off market deal to Irish investors including Emerald Investment Partners (EIP) and Windward Management www.winmgt.ie, headed up by Patrick Coyle.

On receipt of an unsolicited approach for the hotel late last year - which was timely as the P. J. Walls Holdings Group were in the process of realigning their overall Group structure - and given the sustained upturn in trading performance in the Dublin hotel market over a number of years, the owners instructed CBRE Hotels – their long term advisor on the subject property – to lead the negotiations with the interested party with a view to negotiating a successful sale.

The instruction was to quickly reach agreement on price, process and certainty of execution – and all on a ‘going concern’ basis as protecting all of the current employment at the property post any sale was foremost in the minds of the vendors.

The Hilton Dublin Airport Hotel is a very successful and profitable 4 star hotel property, primarily serving the Dublin Airport hotel, leisure and corporate market and operating successfully under a long term management agreement with the prestigious Hilton brand since it opened. The hotel is the flagship property in Northern Cross, a mixed use development that includes high end offices, retail and residential apartments. Developed to a very high standard in 2005, the hotel has 166 spacious and air conditioned en suite bedrooms, a comprehensive food & beverage operation, several function rooms and a selection of boardroom suites and meeting rooms. The property also has extensive and secure underground parking and operates a shuttle bus service between Dublin Airport and the hotel.

The key performance statistics for the Dublin hotel market over the last three years show strong RevPar growth and this trend has continued through Qtr 1 of 2016. With very few hotel bedrooms in the development pipeline for the city, Dublin hotels are projected to maintain this strong growth through 2016 and beyond. Dublin is already one of the top three best performing hotel markets in Europe and all forecasts for 2016 and beyond suggest it will remain amongst the best performing European markets for at least the next two years.

Hotels servicing Dublin Airport have enjoyed year on year growth in Occupancy and Average Room Rate over the last number of years, benefitting from both growing demand and lack of capacity in Dublin city and the surge in passenger numbers through the Airport. Dublin International Airport has grown out of all recognition in recent years and in 2015 passenger numbers grew more than 15% to 25m, making it the busiest year yet for the airport. Last year 55 international airlines used Dublin Airport and this year, there are plans for 13 new routes out of the Airport including the introduction of 2 long haul destinations. All of this growth has been underpinned by the resurgent economy which has seen the return of the corporate traveler together with record numbers of tourists visiting Ireland – up to 8.6m in 2015. There are plans now to develop a second runway at Dublin Airport, to meet projected future demand and which would allow for further growth of passenger numbers in coming years.

Negotiations on the sale between the parties were concluded quickly and efficiently and contracts have now been exchanged between the vendors, Windward Management and Emerald Investment Partners. On completion of the transaction, the acquiring group will continue to improve the product with strategic capital investment as required, to maintain its position as one of the most successful hotels servicing the Dublin Airport hotel market.

As this was a private, off market transaction, neither the vendor nor the purchaser wished to comment on the pricing.

Shaun Greene, Group Finance Director, P. J. Walls Holdings Group and representing the vendors, Walls Leisure Ltd, said…

“We in Walls Leisure are delighted at the outcome of this transaction and extremely pleased that the Hilton Dublin Airport Hotel will now be brought on the next part of it’s exciting journey in the safe hands and care of Emerald Investments and Windward Management.

Walls Leisure developed the hotel as part of the imaginative Northern Cross project and have supported the hotel as it evolved into the very successful and highly profitable business it is today. Hilton Worldwide, our partners in managing the hotel since it opened in 2005 have worked tirelessly with Walls Leisure over the last 10 years to ensure that this core brand Hilton hotel would succeed in establishing itself as a very special niche operator and play a very important role in servicing and promoting the continual growth of the Dublin Airport hotel market. Emerald Investments, Windward Management and Hilton - who will continue on as managers of the hotel under their existing long term management contract - have our blessing and our full support for the future success of this hotel.

Lastly, we would like to pay tribute to our excellent hotel management team and to the most professional hotel employees anyone could wish for who have tirelessly and enthusiastically contributed so much to the success of the hotel over the last 10 years. We wish them and the new owners well for the next 10 years and beyond.”

Patrick Coyle, Chief Executive of Windward Management commented,

“Both Emerald Investment Partners and Windward Management are very excited about this investment. We have tremendous confidence that we can continue to build on the success of the Hilton Dublin Airport Hotel to date through the enthusiasm and support of the existing management and staff. We also look forward to working with such a quality brand as Hilton.”

Alan McIntosh of Emerald Investment Partners added

“This is a tremendous opportunity for Emerald Investments and we are very pleased with the continuation of our partnership with Windward Management in making this important acquisition. The Dublin Hotel market is one of the best performing of Europe’s capital city markets and we look forward to continued growth and many years of success with this acquisition.”

Dermot Curtin, Director of CBRE Hotels said:

“The successful, off market sale of the 4 star Hilton Dublin Airport Hotel confirms that there is a very strong and continuing demand for profitable, modern and well located hotels in Dublin. It also confirms the city’s status as an important European hotel market and as a location much sought after by astute investors. PwC’s latest European Cities Forecast predicts that Dublin will see the highest ADR growth of any major European city for both 2016 & 2017, the second highest occupancy in 2016 and will be the strongest European market for RevPar growth in 2017. With a record 8.6m visitors to Ireland last year – up 13.7% on 2014, most of whom arrive through Dublin Airport - a strengthening economy boosting corporate demand and little new supply, the future is bright for the Dublin Hotel sector”.

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