Dalata to End Spending Spree in Ireland; Focus on UK

By Steve Wynne-Jones
Dalata to End Spending Spree in Ireland; Focus on UK

Dalata is set to wind down its spending in Ireland this year and focus on expanding its UK operation.

Ireland's largest hotel group spent big in 2015, taking over Moran & Bewleys group in a €455 million deal early in 2015 before a string of other high-profile purchases throughout the year.

The company made its first acquisition of 2016 in January, purchasing the Clarion Hotel Sligo for €13.1 million and last week secured the leasehold interest of four hotels for an enterprise value of €40 million. However, according to the Irish Independent, the group will now turn its attentions to the UK.

The decision by Dalata could have major consequences for the Irish hotel market, as the group has been active purchasing regional properties in the three- and four-star range. While a number of high-profile assets have been sought after from foreign investors, there is less of a demand for hotels outside of Dublin from non-indigenous buyers.

Its deputy chief executive Dermot Crowley told the Irish Independent that it still has a €130 million warchest to draw from for hotels in Ireland, however it will "only use it if there is value in the market." The group currently owns five hotels in the UK.

 (* Pictured is Dalata chief executive Pat McCann speaking at the 2015 National Hospitality Conference in Dublin)