THE BORD GÁIS theatre has been sold for the bargain-basement price of €28 million – a fraction of what it cost developers to build.
The property, Ireland’s biggest theatre, went to a Dublin couple who made a killing selling hotels at the peak of the Celtic Tiger boom.
John and Bernadette “Bernie” Gallagher, the daughter of hotel tycoon PV Doyle, are believed to have snapped up the 2,100-capacity theatre at the price – close to a third of its €80 million development cost.
The Gallagher’s firm Crownway Investments was previously behind the €1.16 billion deal to sell the Jurys Inn chain to Quinlan Private – the property speculators headed by Derek Quinlan – in 2007.
From Swan Lake to Nama
Their latest buy was put on the market nearly three months ago with a guide price of €20 million but the winning buyers sealed the deal after beating out several other bidders.
The Daniel Libeskind-designed theatre in Dublin’s docklands area opened in 2010 with a Russian State Ballet performance of Swan Lake.
Bad bank NAMA took over the property, which used to be known as the Grand Canal Theatre, after the companies behind it went into receivership last year.
Bord Gáis took over naming rights in 2011 in a deal worth about €4.5 million.