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Ireland's biggest hotelier buys two landmark properties in Galway and Wexford

The Dalata Hotel Group spent €31m on the deals, but still has plenty to spare from its stock float in March.

The Clayton Hotel in Co. Galway
The Clayton Hotel in Co. Galway

IRELAND’S BIGGEST HOTEL operator has bought two more hotels, snapping up four-star properties in Galway and Wexford for €31.7 million – but it still has plenty of cash to spend on more deals.

The Dalata Hotel Group purchased both the 195-room Clayton Hotel in Ballybrit, Co. Galway and the 157-room Whites Hotel in Wexford town.

The company has been running both hotels through management contracts since 2009 and the buyouts bring its total spending on six hotels to €65 million since the group was sold to the public in a float earlier this year.

Like many deals since the property bubble burst, the sale prices are a fraction of the hotels’ boom-time development costs.

The Whites Hotel, also known as Whites of Wexford, got a €55 million makeover in 2006 when it was reworked to become one of the region’s major conference venues.

Plenty of change left from €256 million

Dalata’s latest spend follows its purchase earlier this year of the Tower Hotel in Derry for £4.375 million (€5.5 million), although the buyouts still represent just over a quarter of the €265 million it raised when it listed on the stock market in March.

Davy Stockbrokers said it expected the two latest purchases would add 20% to the company’s earnings and the deals were “low-risk and represent good use of the group’s cash”.

Dalata has been forecasting increased growth this year and through 2015 as the tourism industry continues to recover after the recession.

A recent Fáilte Ireland survey found businesses in the tourism sector were feeling more positives about their prospects than before 2007 and 82% of hotels reported their trade was up this year compared to 2013.

READ: Have restaurants and hotels been reaping all the spoils while workers suffer? >

READ: Another Irish hotel on the market for a bargain-basement price >

About the author:

Peter Bodkin  / Editor, Fora

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