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In Brief: First sale of stock by hotels firm Dalata in €200m expansion bid

DALATA, the Irish hotel company operated by Pat McCann, plans to raise as much as €200m through an initial public offering next month.

The company, which operates 34 hotels in Ireland and the UK, plans to add new accommodation with the proceeds of the IPO, according to two sources. Shareholders, including clients of Davy Stockbrokers and TVC Holdings, agreed not to sell any of their stake for at least a year, the sources said.

Led by former Jury's chief executive officer Pat McCann, Dalata will be the only hotel company on the Irish Stock Exchange since a consortium bought Jurys Doyle Hotel in 2006. Mr McCann headed Jurys before it was sold.

Dalata, founded in 2007, plans to list on the junior markets in Dublin and London, the sources said. Davy, whose clients own almost two-thirds of the company, will manage the IPO, they said.

Padraig McKeon, a spokesman for Dalata, declined to comment.

FRENCH IMPORT €673M OF IRISH FOOD AND DRINK EXPORTS

FRANCE imported €673m worth of Irish food and drink goods last year, according to new estimates from EU-funded export development programme Access 6. Traditionally strong products like lamb and beverages saw double digit growth, while newer categories such as mushrooms, snails, bakery, farmhouse cheese and soft drinks also boomed.

Access 6 has just launched a new training initiative to boost business between the two countries in the grocery sector. Irish companies taking part include Starcrest Seafood, Swift Fine Foods, Terra Drinks, Good 4 U and Clonarn Clover.

"The French market of 66 million people offers huge opportunities to businesses wishing to export," said Ireland's ambassador to France Rory Montgomery.

"The launch of the French cluster of Access 6 gives all those involved the chance to explore the opportunities."

ROLLS ROYCE FUEL EFFICIENT ENGINE READY IN DECADE TRAVEL

Rolls Royce unveiled plans for a new aircraft engine which it said would be up to 6pc more efficient than its latest model and could be ready by the end of 2010.

Rolls, the world's second-largest maker of aircraft engines behind US group General Electric, said the new engine, which it called 'Advance', could be a successor to its Trent XWB, due to enter service later this year. By 2025, Rolls said an even newer model, the 'UltraFan', could be ready to be attached to an aircraft. This would be around 10pc more efficient than the Trent XWB, it said.

Demand for aircraft engines, and in particular more fuel-efficient models, is expected to continue to grow strongly.

The world will need to double its fleet of aircraft over the next 20 years as cities expand and Asia's increasingly affluent middle class takes to the skies, planemaker Airbus forecast in September. It said airlines, lessors and cargo operators would need a total of 29,226 new passenger and freighter jets worth $4.4tn over the next 20 years.

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