U.S. billionaire John Malone, and the country’s largest landowner, and his Irish partner Lalco have signed an agreement to acquire The Westin Dublin for a reported $88 million.
Though the transaction figure hasn’t been disclosed for the Westin deal, it is believed that the partnership paid in excess of the market price for the property.
John Malone – Westin Dublin: A low-down on the deal
The Lalco Hotel Group has so far partnered with John Malone in two other hotels in the capital of Ireland. Earlier, the pair bought the four-start Trinity Capital Hotel on Dublin’s Pearse Street last summer and the four-star Hilton Dublin Hotel on Charlemont Place in March of this year.
Under the terms of the deal, the current lease on the property, which belongs to Starwood Hotels & Resorts (owner of the Westin brand), will terminate and the hotel will move into a franchise agreement between Lalco Hotel Group and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc (NYSE:HOT). The five-star Westmoreland Street hotel will be operated by Lalco under a franchise agreement with Westin Hotels & Resorts.
The proposed acquisition is anticipated to be completed by end of next month.
The Cable King’s new interest in hotels
Last week, John Malone’s Liberty Global plc (NASDAQ:LBTYA) (NASDAQ:LBTYA) bought 6.4% stake in British commercial broadcaster ITV plc (LON:ITV) (OTCMKTS:ITVPF). John Malone, a well-known deal maker, has been called everything from the Cable Guy to the Cable Cowboy. He made his name and his fortune with a decade-plus-long series of deal that transformed and ultimately consolidated the U.S. cable industry. Currently, Liberty Global also has a presence in 12 European countries.
John Malone was also dubbed “The Cable King” in the U.S. after a twenty-four year stint with telecommunications giant TCI.
Exuding confidence over the recent deal, Lalco director John Lally said that the Westin “fits exceptionally well with the profile of our other properties in terms of location and iconic status and our objective is to maintain its position as one of Ireland’s leading five star hotels.”
John Lally said that the partnership Lalco has struck up with Mr. Malone has proved to be “extremely successful”. U.S. billionaire John Malone is also the largest individual land-owner in the US, owning nearly 2.2 million acres in Maine, Maryland, New Mexico, Colorado and Wyoming.