Haji-Ioannou To Float easyHotel
Published on May 23 2014 7:38 AM in General Industry
Stelios Haji-Ioannou, the founder of EasyJet, is to float his easyHotel business. He has not had a business go public since EasyJet went on the market in 2000. Haji-Ioannou is persisting with his plans despite an apparent weakening in investor appetite for initial public offerings; this follows a year of big floats, which includes Royal Mail and Madame Tussauds's owner, Merlin Enterntainments. EasyHotel intends to raise up to £60 million on London's alternative investment market to fund expansion. The company declined to state how large a stake it would sell, or what market value it intended to secure. Haji-Ioannou launched his budget hotel chain in 2004, one of his many businesses under the "easy" label. The firm, which is fully owned by easyGroup Holdings, has 20 hotels in total, of which 17 operate as franchises. It has seven hotels in London, one each in Edinburgh and Glasgow; the others are spread across European cities, Dubai, Johannesburg and Haji-Ioannou's native Cyprus. He said "I see easyHotel as one of the best, most natural extensions of the easy brand from the airline. I could have grown it as a private company, whilst enabling me to spend more time on my diversified portfolio of other investments." easyHotel claims to offer comfortable, safe, clean accommodation at bargain prices. It said there is little competition in its "super-budget" category and that the "easy" brand gives it an advantage in marketing to budget travellers.