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Bewley's Hotels are about to disappear as a new Dublin hotel king is crowned

Ireland’s biggest hotel operator has agreed to buy 9 hotels for €455 million.

Outside Bewley's Hotel in Ballsbridge, Dublin Outside Bewley's Hotel in Ballsbridge, Dublin Source: infomatique

BEWLEY’S HOTELS WILL be rebranded after Ireland’s biggest hotel operator – the Dalata Hotel Group – agreed to buy the chain as part of a €455 million takeover.

It will be part of the deal to buy 9 hotels from the Moran & Bewley’s Group including the landmark, 304-room Bewley’s Hotel Ballsbridge and 3 other properties in Dublin.

Dalata will also get a launchpad for the UK with the purchase of the Bewley’s Hotels in Leeds and Manchester, and 2 Moran-branded hotels in London, as it boosts its range overnight by 2,506 rooms.

But the Bewley’s name will be dropped as the publicly-listed hotelier re-markets some of the 3-star hotels as 4-star venues.

The Moran & Bewley’s Group was formed in 2008 when Limerick businessman Tom Moran bought the 6 Bewley’s Hotels for a reported pricetag of about €570 million at the peak of the property boom.

Moran’s first property, Dublin’s Red Cow Inn, and the 123-room Red Cow Moran Hotel are not part of the Dalata deal.

Bewley's Hotel Inside Bewley's Hotel in Ballsbridge, Dublin Source: Jude Doyland

A big chunk of Dublin

Dalata said the buyout would expand its holdings in the key Dublin market as well as giving it a platform to grow in the UK, where until now it only leased one property in Wales.

The company will control 18% of the total Dublin hotel market through properties it either owns, leases or manages, although the competition watchdog still needs to approve the deal.

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Bewley's Hotel In Ballsbridge Bewley's Hotel in Ballsbridge, Dublin Source: infomatique

It said the purchase, which was also awaiting shareholder approval in January, would lift its profits, before deductions, towards €8.3 million for the year.

Chief executive Pat McCann said the buyout would be a “transformational development” for the company, which expects to save up to €3 million a year by merging back-office operations of the 2 hotel groups.

It is a business we have admired for a long time and the acquisition is a rare opportunity to acquire a large well invested portfolio of hotels,” he said.

The full buyout includes:

  • Silver Springs Moran Hotel, Co Cork – 109 rooms
  • Crown Moran Hotel, London – 152 rooms
  • Chiswick Moran Hotel, London – 123 rooms
  • Bewley’s Hotel Ballsbridge, Dublin – 304 rooms
  • Bewley’s Hotel Dublin Airport – 466 rooms
  • Bewley’s Hotel Leopardstown, Dublin – 354 rooms
  • Bewley’s Hotel Newlands Cross, Dublin – 299 rooms
  • Bewley’s Hotel Manchester Airport – 365 rooms
  • Bewley’s Hotel Leeds – 334 rooms

McCann said Dalata had now spent all the proceeds from its €265 million stockmarket float in March.

The latest buyout will be funded with a combination of existing cash, a €50 million private share offer and new €318 million loan.

READ: Ireland’s biggest hotelier buys two landmark properties in Galway and Wexford >

READ: Hoteliers are riding on the back of tourists. Not literally though >

About the author:

Peter Bodkin  / Editor, Fora

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