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Baturina to Buy Hotel in Dublin

The wife of ousted Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov, real estate tycoon Yelena Baturina, is expected to buy the Morrison Hotel in Ireland's capital. Denis Grishkin

Nama, the Irish state assets agency, is poised to sell the Morrison Hotel in Dublin to Yelena Baturina, wife of former Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov and one of Russia's richest women, The Irish Times reported over the weekend.

Nama is in the final stages of negotiating the sale of the hotel, which has been on the market since September, for between 20 million and 25 million euros ($25 million and $32 million).

Baturina is bidding for the property through a London-based asset management firm. The deal has not yet been done, but it is expected to be signed next week.

Her bid is the highest of a shortlist of three or four formally made to Nama in the closing weeks of 2011.

Baturina's wealth is estimated at $1.2 billion. She has interests in construction, manufacturing, farming and property. She had set up her main business, Inteko, in 1991.

Baturina and her husband bought a house in London in 2010, and later told media that they were sending their two daughters to school in Britain to protect them from "intimidation" in Russia.

The Morrison Hotel was part of businessman Hugh O'Regan's pub and hotel empire until Nama appointed Martin Ferris as receiver in 2010. The agency placed the property on the market in September, and formal bids were made in November. Reports released last month indicate that the hotel was profitable last year.

According to Dublin-hotels.net, the Morrison is an 84-room four-star hotel on Lower Ormond Quay that incorporates the facade of a Georgian townhouse. It opened in 1999.

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