Jurys battle sparks into life once more

13 October 2005
Jurys battle sparks into life once more

The battle for ownership of Jurys Doyle hotel group appears to be far from over after major shareholder and property developer Sean Dunne refused to sell his 28% stake.

Earlier this week an €18.90 (£13) per share offer for the Irish hotel group, valuing it at €1.25b (£858m), was put forward by a consortium making up the largest share block in the company (46%).

The consortium, which contains three Doyle family members, is intent on keeping the company in the hotel business rather than capitalising on Ireland's high property prices and redeveloping the sites.

Sean Dunne is in the process of completing a €260m (£178m) deal for Jurys's Ballsbridge site in Dublin, which it is thought he will redevelop for mixed use to capitalise on its prime location in the heart of the city.

Having received support for his purchase at an extraordinary general meeting last month, sources close to the deal had suggested he would sell his remaining stake for a profit.

However, Dunne's decision not to sell immediately has reignited speculation that he could be lining up a bid of his own for the group, possibly in concert with others.

The Doyle consortium requires half of the company's shares to win control, although 80% would be needed to take Jurys private.

By Emily Mason

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