By Geoff Percival
Regional hotel owner iNua Hospitality — which owns the Radisson Blu properties in Little Island and Limerick — is targeting €40m in fresh investment to help fund a number of new hotel acquisitions.
The privately-owned group owns six hotels — its portfolio completed by Killarney’s Muckross Park Hotel, Kilkenny’s Hibernian Hotel, the Hillgrove Hotel in Monaghan, and the Radisson in Athlone — and is in the advanced stages of planning the acquisition of an unnamed seventh property.
While the company has been conducting a nationwide investor roadshow, it is expected that up to 70% of iNua’s original seed investors will reinvest in the group.
The company has recently consolidated its business into a single group structure, where investors and management will be linked to the overall business rather than individual hotels.
The targeted €40m will introduce additional equity to the group, as well as funding for expansion. It is understood that further hotel acquisitions are in an advanced stage of planning, with iNua’s founder and managing director Noel Creedon saying the group has “firm plans for additional investments in 2018”.
“We remain focused on making strategic investments that return value to our investors. Market conditions are positive and we continue to see strong potential in the regional hotel market, our primary concentration,” said Mr Creedon.
Last year, iNua generated record earnings — on an Ebitda basis — of €7.1m, up 14.5% on the previous year. The group hopes to increase earnings by 34%, to €9.5m, over the next five years.
By 2022, it hopes to reach an average occupancy rate of 75% across its portfolio. Occupancy has risen from 60% to 73% in the past three years.
The group’s five-year growth centres on growing its portfolio of hotels and delivering further shareholder value, and ultimately making iNua the leading regional hotel operator in the country.
Meanwhile, another privately-owned hotel group, Flynn Hotels, has invested €3m in refurbishment works across its four properties, including Cork’s Imperial Hotel.
The investment also covers the Newpark Hotel in Kilkenny, the Old Ground Hotel in Ennis, and Dungarvan’s Park Hotel.
The work on the Imperial includes the renovation of 45 bedrooms, the introduction of bespoke fabrics and furniture and an upgrade of the 200-year-old hotel’s air conditioning system.
All works, which began last year, are due to be completed by May.