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DUBLIN-Shareholders in bid target Jurys Doyle have backed the sale of a prime site to Sean Dunne for euro 260 million ($314 million). At an extraordinary general meeting held here, shareholders in Jurys voted unanimously in favor of the sale, which is now expected to be completed by mid-October. Jurys shares, which have gained nearly 50% since the takeover speculation began in May, were up 0.3% to euros 18.60 by midday.

Dunne, who has been rapidly building a stake in Jurys and now holds nearly 28%, agreed to buy the five-acre site in Dublin’s prestigious Ballsbridge area in July following a review by Jurys of two underperforming hotels at the location. Initially property entrepreneur Dunne was believed to be stake-building in order to ensure the approval of the property deal but he later said he might consider making a bid for the whole company and has sought financial advice.

Jurys last week received a euro 18.90-per-share offering from an Irish consortium holding more than 40% of its shares. That offer valued the company at euro 1.2 billion ($1.45 billion).

Analysts say there was speculation Dunne may have agreed with members of that consortium to push through his property deal in return for his backing in a takeover. He could also sell the property, keep the remaining hotels and develop their investment returns.

Another consortium, Precinct Investments, backed by British-based billionaires David and Simon Reuben, withdrew a euro 1.1-billion ($1.35-billion) offer last month. Jurys operates more than 30 hotels in Ireland, Britain and the US.

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