THE DOYLE family consortium has told developer Sean Dunne that it will back his purchase of the Ballsbridge site if he sells his shares into their 1.2bn bid for the hotel group.

Representatives of the consortium made the offer to buy Dunne's shares in Jurys Doyle for about 18.90 per share before the multi-millionaire property developer went back into the market last week to buy more shares in the company at a price of 19.50.

The Doyle consortium, which is being advised by Goldman Sachs, is expected to make a formal bid for Jurys Doyle within 10 days, and the bid is now fully funded.

Dunne now owns almost 28% of Jurys Doyle, so the consortium would need his support for a take-private.

On Monday, Jurys Doyle announced that the consortium, which also includes Elizabeth Nelson and the family of former Jurys chairman Walter Beatty, had notified the board of a possible offer of not less than 18.90 per share conditional on getting 50.01% of the company. The developer has not indicated his position to the consortium ahead of this week's extraordinary general meeting to vote on his proposed 260m purchase of the 4.8-acre Jurys Hotel site in Ballsbridge.

The members of the Doyle family have indicated in a circular sent to shareholders in advance of the egm that they have yet to decide how they will vote on the motion to sell the Ballsbridge site to Dunne.

Dunne's most recent buying spree at a level above the possible offer price indicated by the Doyles, is clearly a signal from the developer that he does not intend to accept the 18.90 offer. His latest round of share-buying on Thursday and Friday came after the Doyle consortium unsuccessfully sought an irrevocable guarantee from developer Liam Carroll, who holds over 8% of Jurys Doyle, that he would support a bid for the company at the 18.90 level.

Dunne, who built his stake in the company without retaining corporate finance advisers and has been exploring his options in the past fortnight, has also been mulling a take-over bid for Jurys Doyle. But expectation was growing late last week that a deal will be done between Dunne and the Doyles either before or after Tuesday's egm.

Market sources suggested that Dunne could be buying at the higher level in an attempt to set a floor price for his entire stakeholding.