Ascott enters Irish market with purchase of Dublin hotel for $83.6m

PHOTO: THE ASCOTT

SINGAPORE - Mainboard-listed CapitaLand said on Friday (Dec 16) that its wholly owned serviced residence business unit, The Ascott Ltd, has expanded its global footprint to Ireland, one of the fastest growing economies in Europe.

Ascott has acquired an operating hotel in Ireland's capital city Dublin, the 136-unit Temple Bar Hotel, for 55.1 million euros (S$83.6 million). Located within Temple Bar, the cultural heart of Dublin's city centre, the property is close to museums, boutiques, restaurants, cafés, galleries and attractions such as the famous Dublin Castle, Guinness Storehouse and Jameson Distillery.

Said Mr Lee Chee Koon, Ascott's chief executive officer: "Europe is a key market for Ascott's global expansion. Ireland's pro-business environment has attracted some of the world's biggest companies such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft and LinkedIn to establish their European headquarters in Dublin. Ireland is also used as a launch pad to the European Union (EU) by many US companies and the US is amongst Ascott's top source markets globally."

He added: "The acquisition will boost Ascott's 1.2 billion-euro (over S$1.8 billion) portfolio in Europe and bring us closer to our target of 10,000 units in the region by 2020."

Post Brexit, Dublin has stepped up efforts to woo multinational companies to site their EU-based operations in Ireland. Ireland's economy is expected to expand by 4.9 per cent this year, one of the top three fastest growing economies in Europe.

Ireland also saw a record number of visitors, up 12 per cent in the first nine months of this year. Dublin hotels had the highest Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR) growth rate in Europe in 2015, and the city is expected to top the European cities in RevPAR growth again in 2017, said Ascott.

The company added that with extended stay accommodation supply at only 0.08 unit per 1,000 overseas visitors in Dublin, the market presents huge potential for Ascott.

Said Mr Alfred Ong, Ascott's managing director for Europe, said: "The property has been achieving over 80% occupancy in the last few months and we are confident that we will be able to add value to this prime asset. There are already plans to rebrand the property at a later date."

The acquisition brings Ascott's portfolio in Europe to more than 5,400 units in 45 properties across 19 cities in Belgium, France, Georgia, Germany, Ireland, Spain and the United Kingdom."