The Isle of Man Examiner this week named the new owners of the Castle Mona Hotel.
Within hours of the paper reaching newsagents’ shops, the company involved confirmed the story.
Ever since the historic Douglas hotel was sold, the identity of its purchasers was a secret.
So the Isle of Man Examiner investigated.
The paper revealed that the new owners were associated with island-based companies KJ Holdings Limited and the Tevir Group.
Tevir has recently bought a second prominent Douglas building in a £4.3m deal – the former Zurich headquarters on Athol Street. And it is understood that the same companies are in talks over buying the long-vacant Villiers site on Loch Promenade, Douglas.
The Castle Mona was sold at auction for £1.21m in May but the identity of the owners has been kept firmly under wraps since then.
Companies Registry names Keith Jones, who lives in a penthouse flat in Coutts House in Onchan, as a director of KJ Holdings, a company incorporated in the island in May 2017. Its registered office is in Analyst House, Peel Road, Douglas.
Fellow director and company secretary is accountant Ciaran Colm Doherty.
KJ Holdings’ principal business in listed in its first annual return as ‘investment holding’. It is not known what the new owners’ plans are for the Castle Mona.
Mr Jones and Mr Doherty are also directors of Tevir Properties (IoM) Ltd, which has bought the Zurich building on Athol Street for £4,350,000.
Tevir was incorporated in the island in February this year and its registered office, too, is in Analyst House. The company applied to register its purchase of the former Zurich building in September.
Steven Malone is financial controller for the Tevir Group.
Mr Jones and Mr Doherty are also directors Kero Holdings Ltd, which is a director and shareholder of Flintshire-based Kero Ltd. The name of Kero Holdings was changed to Tevir Ventures Ltd in August.
Keith Jones, 75, is named as a ‘person with significant control’ – ie beneficial owner – of the UK company.
The UK has introduced a public register of beneficial ownership which lists persons with significant control of companies.
Other directors of Kero Limited are inventor Roger Stanton Doo and Zennor Investments Ltd.
The sale of the Castle Mona has yet to be registered at Land Registry.
Owners have three months from the date of completion to apply for registration but they can apply for an extension.
Meanwhile, the same group is understood to be interested in buying the eyesore Villiers Square site, which is owned by Aviva Investors. Talks are continuing but the parties are said to be close to an agreement.
The Castle Mona Hotel closed in 2006 and was owned by the Sefton Group, which got into financial difficulties.
Tevir Group confirmed their acquisition of the historic seafront landmark after the Examiner exclusively revealed the identity of the new owners.
It ends months of speculation about the purchasers. But their plans for the building remain under wraps.
In a statement, it said: ‘The Tevir Group is happy to confirm the purchase of the former Castle Mona Hotel in Douglas for £1.21m from The Sefton Group PLC.
‘The group recognises and respects the historical significance of the building and work has commenced to undertake emergency repairs to the property, which has lain empty since closing in 2006.
‘A further announcement regarding plans for the Castle Mona site will be made in due course, the current priority is securing the building and preventing further deterioration.’
The Tevir Group also confirmed it has purchased the former Zurich House building in Athol Street, Douglas.
‘Arrangements are already well advanced in respect of new tenants for the property,’ it said.
The Tevir Group is based in the Isle of Man and said it has a number of different interests.
It said it will be undertaking development projects in the Island that will ‘generate a positive impact for the benefit of Manx residents, Manx businesses and the broader Isle of Man economy’.
Source: IOM Today