Sunday 22 July 2018

Hotel group iNua raises €40m as it eyes deals

The Muckross Park Hotel in Killarney, Co Kerry was acquired by iNua in 2015.
The Muckross Park Hotel in Killarney, Co Kerry was acquired by iNua in 2015.
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Hotel group iNua Hospitality has completed a €40m fundraising.

Hotel group iNua Hospitality has completed a €40m fundraising.

The privately-owned group, part of the iNua Partnership that also owns the Ditchley healthcare investment vehicle, owns and operates seven hotels around Ireland.

They include the Muckross Park Hotel in Killarney, Co Kerry, which was acquired in 2015 by iNua for more than €6m.

The hotel had previously been owned by businessman Bill Cullen and his partner, Jackie Lavin.

Other properties in its portfolio include the Radisson Blu hotels in Cork, Limerick, Athlone and Sligo.

Its hotels employ more than 1,000 people.

The hotel owner's backers include Earlsfort Capital Partners and Blackbee Investments.

Earlsfort was established by former Anglo Irish Bank executives Fergal Feeney and Paul Brophy.

Cork-based investment firm Blackbee is chaired by former Ulster Bank chief economist Pat McArdle.

iNua Hospitality said yesterday that 70pc of its original investor base reinvested in the business during the €40m fundraising.

It added that as part of a five-year growth strategy, it has moved to a single hotel group structure and is focused on improving performance and revenue, and adding properties.

Founder and CEO Noel Creedon said that the venture remains focused on making strategic investments that return value to investors.

"iNua Hospitality is positioned for further growth across our current portfolio and for new opportunities as part of the next phase of our development," he said.

"We remain focused on continuing to invest in our existing portfolio and our people, as well as making further strategic investments and returning value to our investors," Mr Creedon added.

Mr Creedon said the consolidation of the company's hotel properties into one group was funded from a debt perspective by Earlsfort Capital Partners, with Blackbee Investments providing the equity.

The company generated a record €7.1m in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) last year.

Under iNua Hospitality management, average occupancy across the portfolio of hotels increased from 60pc in 2014 to 73pc in 2017.

There are currently 760 rooms across the seven-hotel portfolio.

The group is targeting a 34pc increase in ebitda over the next five years, which would bring the figure to €9.5m in 2022.

The group of hotels is currently valued at €90m.

More than €10m in capital expenditure has been invested in hotel improvements in the past four years, when the group began buying properties.

Irish Independent

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