Jurys Inn, which owns five hotels in Ireland and 31 in Britain, looks set to be bought for around €900m by Swedish hotels group Pandox.
The impending sale comes after Jurys Inn owner, the US equity fund giant Lone Star which has owned the hotels for the past three years put them on the market earlier this year.
At one stage Lone Star had appeared set to seek a stock market listing for its hotels.
About 25 other hotels owned by Lone Star in the UK and Ireland, including those operated by Accor, are not part of the transaction.
Estates Gazette reported that Lone Star had picked Pandox as the preferred bidder after fighting off rivals, including Queensgate Investments and London & Regional.
Stockholm-based Pandox owns 122 hotels across northern Europe, as well as in Canada. Its shares which rose slightly yesterday have risen 13% in the past year. A spokesman in Stockholm said the company wouldn’t be adding to a statement released by the hotels firm on the transaction.
That statement was limited to confirming that it was in the final stages of talking about “the possibilities for a major acquisition”.
“The acquisition concerns a hotel portfolio focused on larger cities in Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland. Pandox would like to emphasise that the deal is complex and that current negotiations may not necessarily lead to an agreement, and that it is not certain that the transaction will be successfully concluded,” the Swedish company said.
Irish hotel groups appear to have ruled themselves out of bidding for the hotels at an early stage. Davy analyst Joseph Quinn said that rival hotel group Dalata was focused on growing in the UK.