Hollywood-based investment fund Wirefox has bought the Bushmills Inn hotel and restaurant, it has been announced.
he investment company, owner of the CastleCourt shopping center in Belfast, has bought the Causeway Coast establishment for an undisclosed sum from the owners, Alan and Zoe Dunlop.
Wirefox, run by Bernard Eastwood, the 37-year-old grandson of late bookmaker Barney, bought the property through his entity Marram Hotel Partners, which last year bought The Scores Hotel in St Andrews, Scotland .
The property will continue to operate in its current form with the existing team remaining in place, Wirefox said. The impending sale was first revealed by the Belfast Telegraph.
Alan Dunlop, Managing Director of the hotel for over three decades and owner for 15 years, said: “The Bushmills Inn Hotel has played an important role in the development of tourism in Northern Ireland for generations and we are proud the role we have played in supporting its success and creating value, jobs and economic wealth for the community and region.
“We are really pleased that at this stage we are transferring ownership to leading investment company Wirefox.
“We are delighted with the exciting and visionary plans it has for its future, which will ensure it remains a major tourist hub for the region that visitors can enjoy for many years to come.”
Kathryn Robinson, Chief Investment Officer at Wirefox, said: “We are delighted to welcome this fantastic team and impressive property to our growing portfolio of interests and look forward to acting as custodian of an asset. so iconic in the months and years to come.
“The Bushmills Inn Hotel is one of Northern Ireland’s best-known luxury hotel destinations, renowned for its warm hospitality and award-winning restaurant.
“The hotel enjoys an enviable location and is surrounded by many of Northern Ireland’s most important tourist attractions.”
Wirefox was advised by Belfast-based Davidson McDonnell Solicitors in connection with the acquisition.
Although the sale figure was not disclosed, Bushmills Hotels Ltd reported fixed assets of £2.4 million in its latest unaudited financial statements filed last week.
He also reported £1.8m in cash and bank, with £1.7m in debt, in his financial statements to the end of December. The total capital of the company is over £2.5 million. The company employs around 60 people.
The old coaching inn on Dunluce Road in Bushmills dates from the early 17th century.
It has been extensively restored and extended in recent years and now has over 40 rooms and suites as well as the restaurant, bar and loft.
Wirefox, founded in 2014, is currently also involved in the final stages of development of The Paper Exchange, a 200,000 square foot office and mixed-use development in Belfast city center and with the refurbishment of the old Oxford and Gloucester at 46-63 Chichester Street. He bought CastleCourt for £125million in 2017.