Dalata agrees €455m hotel takeover

The Dalata Hotel Group has reached agreement to buy nine of the hotels in the Moran-Bewley Hotel business for €455m.

Dalata agrees €455m hotel takeover

The hotels which are being sold include the Silversprings Moran Hotel in Cork as well as the four Bewleys Hotels in Dublin. The other four hotels are in Britain — the Crown Moran and Chiswick Moran Hotels in London and the Bewleys Hotels in Manchester and Leeds.

The Red Cow complex, comprising the Red Cow Moran Hotel and adjoining Red Cow Inn, will be retained with Tom and Sheila Moran as the sole owners.

“Dalata is acquiring a fabulous portfolio of hotels all of which I have been very proud to own and operate over the years,” said Tom Moran. “I know that with this sale Dalata haven’t simply acquired bricks and mortar but an excellent group with an impressive team of people at its centre.

“I would like to personally thank all of the staff that have made Moran & Bewley’s Hotels such a valuable asset. Pat Power, myself and my family wish the excellent staff and management teams continued success.

“While Pat Power and my family and I will enjoy a short but well-earned rest over Christmas, we look forward to actively exploring new opportunities from our base at the Red Cow Complex in 2015.”

The deal is reliant on competition and shareholder approval, with investors set to vote at an extraordinary general meeting in January.

Dalata is Ireland’s largest hotel operator, running over more than 40 properties, most of which it owns via its Maldron brand.

The group last month confirmed it was in exclusive discussions with the Moran-Bewley group.

The transaction will cover nine hotels and expand Dalata’s presence in the UK (where it has one hotel in Cardiff) to Manchester, London, and Leeds. However, the deal will not include the Red Cow Moran Hotel and adjacent Red Cow Inn complex in Dublin. Cork’s Silver Springs Hotel is included.

Dalata has now fully invested the €265m it raised through its IPO earlier this year. The Moran deal will be funded by existing cash reserves and a €318m credit facility from Bank of Ireland, AIB, and Ulster Bank.

Additionally, the group is planning — via a share placing — to raise nearly €17m for future investment.

It has raised its full-year 2014 earnings guidance. Where it previously anticipated recording EBITDA of between €7.5m and €8m (excluding contributions from new acquisitions) this year, it yesterday said stronger-than-expected performance since the middle of the year should see earnings of between €8.1m and €8.3m.

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