Three bidding for £10m Lough Erne Resort

The Lough Erne Resort

The Lough Erne Resort

THE sale of the Lough Erne Resort, ‘home’ for the two-day summit of world leaders back in June, is hotting up.

It is now believed that the shortlist of five bidders has been reduced to three, all attracted by the £10m ‘guide’ price, and, its global reputation.


The hotel remains in administration and, this week, a spokesman for the receiver, John Hanson confirmed the sale process was continuing, although he declined to go into detail.

“It (the sale) will run its natural course and, yes, I would say it will be resolved before the end of the year.”

But, he waved away the idea that money would be taken out of the sale price to pay back Invest NI its £3.5m grant aid to Castle Hume Leisure (then owners of the Resort) in 2006.

The Enterprise Minister, Arlene Foster, in a statement to the Herald stated: “In June 2006, Invest Northern Ireland offered £3.5m of support to Castle Hume Leisure in support of a £23.5m investment and 122 new jobs at the Lough Erne Resort.

“When Castle Hume Leisure entered administration in May 2011, it was essentially in default of the legal letter of offer that had been issued by Invest NI.

“It is important that Invest NI follow due process, and they have been working closely with the administrator to seek clawback on the £3.5m of support paid.”

However, Mr Hanson, speaking to the Herald this week, said, ‘there is unlikely to be a dividend to unsecured creditors’ (Invest NI being one).


“That is in my reports in Companies House and, regardless of what we get for the sale of the hotel, be it £10m or £13.5m, the amount of company debt in well in excess of that and, as I said, it’s unlikely that any unsecured creditors would get anything back.”

As for how the Resort was performing, Mr Hanson described business as, ‘good’.

“Anyone who saw the coverage of the G8 will tell you it looked spectacular. There has been a lot of activity at the Resort over the summer, and I think the weather hasn’t done tourism generally any harm.”

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