John Gallagher, “the smartest man in the room” who sold out of Irish property right at the peak of the madness, is about to return to the Irish market with a deal to buy a €25m hotel in Cork.
It is understood that the Gallagher family is close to inking a deal to buy the landmark four-star River Lee Hotel from developer Owen O’Callaghan.
Nama will have to approve any transaction.
Mr Gallagher and his wife Bernie made a fortune offloading the Jurys Ballsbridge properties and Jurys Inns’ business at high prices at the peak of the boom.
Mr Gallagher is executive chairman of the upmarket Doyle Hotel group.
Late last year Savills were appointed to sell the 182-room hotel in Cork.
Mr Gallagher’s move to buy the property is the latest in a series of deals by shrewd investors indicating that the domestic property market has bottomed out.
Beef baron Larry Goodman spent €40m buying the iconic Bank of Ireland Headquarters in Dublin’s Baggot Street last December, and US private-equity firm Blackstone coughed up €67m for the Burlington Hotel.