Dalata to grow hotel chain

The Dalata Hotel Group is hoping to use proceeds from its upcoming flotation to expand its property network, either via single asset purchases or the buyout of rival groups’ portfolios.

The group — which ranks as the largest hotel operator in the Irish market, through its three-to-four star Maldron Hotel brand — yesterday confirmed its much speculated intention to take a dual share listing on Dublin’s ESM exchange and the AIM in London later this month.

Saying that it feels Ireland’s hotel sector represents an “attractive investment opportunity”, at present, Dalata is looking to raise between €150m and €200m from the float. That money will go towards buying between 16 and 25 hotels around Ireland, and paying down some of the group’s debt, which stood at €4.1m as of the end of last year.

The group’s management said it has the presence and know-how to take advantage of the growing international demand in the Irish hotel sector, adding that it feels the three-to-four star area is the most attractive market segment, with the best profit growth potential.

“We want to increase the size and quality of our portfolio by acquiring hotels as they come to market either through portfolio acquisitions or single asset purchases.

“We also have an important and valued business in providing hotel management solutions to third parties — both on a long-term basis to hotel owners and for shorter terms to banks and receivers. These will remain as an important contributor of quality fee income and can increase the scale benefits that are achievable with suppliers and customers,” said chief executive, Pat McCann.

Investment group, TVC Holdings — which, this week, sold nearly half of its stake in UTV Media for over €22m — is a leading shareholder in Dalata, owning a 28.8% stake, but has, reportedly, agreed not to sell any of its stake in the group for at least a year.

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