Quinta do Lago Sale Cancelled
The prospective sale of the Quinto do Lago resort in the Portuguese Algarve owned by Denis O’Brien has been cancelled. It has been removed from the market according to ‘market insiders’ because the asking price of €220m was proving too rich for prospective buyers.
A number of publications, including the Irish Independent, Irish Times and Bloomberg, have reported that bids fell short of the asking price and the property has been withdrawn from sale.
Alison Buechner Hojbjerg, a director at Quinta Properties who sell luxury villas at the resort is quoted as saying: “Quinta do Lago is without a doubt one of Europe’s most exclusive holiday destinations, but the asking price was clearly a high price.”
O’Brien has been in the news recently as in October he also pulled out of a proposed IPO by Digicel in the US. Canada’s Alimentation Couche-Tard announced last week that it was to buy his Topaz Energy Group, which operates convenience stores and fuel retail businesses across Ireland.
Denis O’Brien purchased Qunita do Lago from British food entrepreneur David Thompson in 1998 for €25m. It was originally built by property developer André Jordan in 1971. The resort lies along the coast in 2,000 acres of the Ria Formosa Natural Park and is home to a number of high-end hotels including the Conrad and Four Seasons.
The resort became a household name in Ireland in 2000 when O’Brien sold Esat Digiphone to BT for £250m. He chose the resort as his family home for the period around and for two years following the sale, saving an estimated €63m in Irish Capital Gains Tax in the process.
Since its purchase O’Brien has constantly invested in the resort, upgrading facilities over time. Most recently architect Beau Welling and Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley redesigned the North Course at a cost of €9.6 million. Developed in just 10 months it opened in early October 2014 and has already been named Europe’s Best New Golf Course at the World Golf Awards. This constant reinvestment has maintained Quinta do Lago’s rating as one of the world’s premier golf resorts.
The entire Quinta do Lago resort encompasses 25 acres of residential plots, 31 acres of commercial development areas and over 140 acres of residential development potential, according to the sales brochure.