Dalata on the clock over role in Ballsbridge hotels

It is decision time for Dalata as to whether or not the country’s largest hotel group wants to play a part in any deal for two landmark Ballsbridge hotels, its chief executive has said.

Dalata on the clock over role in Ballsbridge hotels

Earlier this month, it was announced that the former Berkeley Court and Jurys hotels would be brought to market with an expected price tag of €120m to €150m.

The combined 6.8 acre site is set to be redeveloped at some stage over the coming years once it has been snapped up and Dalata — which operates both hotels — is mulling over what involvement, if any, it will have.

“Dalata has invested all the money raised and debt so we’re not in a position to do a deal right now,” said Dalata chief executive Pat McCann.

However, Mr McCann added, that it is the only deal it may be interested in pursuing at the moment, as there is very little visibility as to what is coming to the market in the coming months.

If Dalata does look to do a deal for the site, it would use a combination of equity and debt to finance the move.

Mr McCann added that he would not be disappointed if the group did not complete any further acquisitions in the coming months as it works to incorporate those it has already taken control of over the past year or so.

Since its IPO in March 2014, Dalata has completed the acquisition of eight individual hotels as well as the majority of the Moran Bewleys portfolio in Ireland and the UK.

That portfolio of nine hotels, which does not include the Red Cow Moran hotel on the outskirts of Dublin, formed a major part of what Dalata described at its annual general meeting yesterday as “transformational period”.

Dalata agreed to pay €453m for the prestigious portfolio, in addition to the €106m it forked out for the other eight properties in, among other areas, Dublin, Galway, and Wexford.

“We have now invested all the equity raised at our IPO almost a year ahead of schedule, and we have also invested additional equity of €48.6m [net of costs] and debt of €282m raised in February 2015,” said Mr McCann.

“The Moran Bewley acquisition significantly increased our position in the Dublin market. Over 55% of the rooms in the portfolio are in Dublin. This Moran Bewley portfolio also gives the Group presence in key UK cities such as London, Manchester, and Leeds. We have identified significant opportunities to increase revenues and implement savings through synergies across all the acquired hotels. We are now very actively engaged in integrating them.”

Mr McCann added that trading had been strong in the opening quarter of the year, with the group trading ahead of expectations and the outlook for the remainder of the year remains positive.

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