Duddy group plan Portrush investment as legal battle commences in Dublin

The Portrush Atlantic Hotel is now under the full control of the Duddy group.
The Portrush Atlantic Hotel is now under the full control of the Duddy group.

THE brothers behind the Derry-based Duddy group have announced plans to invest in the Portrush Atlantic Hotel after taking full control of the north coast venue.

Larry and Brendan Duddy Junior were among the investors to buy the former Ramada Hotel for £2.75 million in 2015.

Previously owned by the Kennedy family, the hotel was put into administration by Nama in 2013.

It later fell under the control of Cerberus, after it acquired Nama’s northern loans.

The brothers have now bought out their business partners to assume full ownership.

The Duddy’s also own 100 per cent of the Holiday Inn Express in Derry city and are major shareholders in Derry’s City Hotel.

It comes as the Duddy group prepare for a high court legal battle in the Republic with Alan Sugar’s former aide over the ownership of the Ibis Red Cow Hotel in Dublin.

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The Duddys became partners in a number of projects in Dublin, Belfast and Exeter with Essex-based Propiteer, which was co-founded by Colin Sandy, a former finance director at Lord Alan Sugar's Amshold Group, and Antrim man Dave Marshall.

But a dispute arose earlier this year over an alleged breach of an agreement to divide up the assets of joint ventures they had previously owned.

“We have issued proceedings against our former partners in Dublin with the High Court and we hope there will be a resolution sooner or later,” said Larry Duddy.

New accounts published on Companies House for their northern portfolio of hotels show revenue back to pre-Covid levels.

Turnover rose 54 per cent to £8.2m at City of Derry Hotel Ltd in 2022, producing a pre-tax profit of £768,701.

“Some things have changed since Covid, but it has been a very, very good summer and a good year all-round in the hotel industry in Northern Ireland,” added Larry.

Brendan Duddy said the group now have their eyes fixed on The Open, which returns to Royal Portrush in 2025.

“We see Portrush as growing its accommodation sector substantially in the coming years, especially for the lucrative American golfing market,” he said.

“The town benefits greatly from not only its stunning location, but also its association with some of the world’s best golf courses.”