Hotels group Jurys Doyle - which runs the Jurys Inn hotel on Broad Street - yesterday said it had received a takeover approach valued at £808 million from a consortium including the daughters of its founder.
The Dublin-based operator said the group, that already owns about 42 per cent of its shares, had approached it regarding a possible offer.
It follows months of intense speculation surrounding the firm after it first received an approach from another group in May, although that party later pulled out.
Participants in yesterday's proposal include late founder P V Doyle's daughters Eileen Monahan, Ann Roche and Bernadette Gallagher, as well as company directors Walter Beatty and Elizabeth Nelson.
The sisters, two of whom are directors, recently increased their stake in the firm from 24 per cent to around 30 per cent.
Any offer would be subject to conditions including the arrangement of funding and the completion of due diligence.
The group's independent directors said they would be prepared to recommend the proposal if a firm offer was made at the indicated level without any pre-conditions.
Jurys Doyle, which was formed through the merger of the Jurys Hotels and Doyle chains in 1999, has 12 sites in the UK and it plans to open five more during the next couple of years.
Any offer would value Jurys Doyle shares at "not less than"
Shares fell slightly to
18.30 euros yesterday after soaring 50 per cent since the takeover battle was triggered by Precinct Investments in May.
Jurys stressed that the announcement did not constitute an offer and said its independent directors would deal with the approach.
However, it could complicate the sale of a five-acre piece of prime Dublin land which the company had agreed to sell to developer Sean Dunne.
Mr Dunne has also been rapidly building up his stake in the past month and holds over 27 per cent in the firm. Reports at the weekend said he was considering appointing financial advisers.
He said earlier this month he was considering all options on Jurys, which could include an offer.