Jurys Inn, the mid-market chain of 31 hotels concentrated in the UK and Ireland, has been sold for £680m.
The new owner, US Lone Star Funds, is to retain the management team of CEO John Brennan, with the group expected to announce record sales and profits this year.
The Royal Bank of Scotland-led sale sees another crown jewel of the British hotel sector transfer to US ownership. The deal also saw Lone Star buy out interests from the Oman Investment Fund, Mount Kellett Capital Management, Ulster Bank, Westmont Hospitality Group and Avestus Capital Partners.
Jurys Inn employs about 2,000 people and was originally founded in Dublin in 1881 by William Jury. It was acquired by Derek Quinlan, an Irish businessman in 2007 for €1.2bn. In 2008 The Oman Investment Fund took a 50 per cent stake for €200m in a business which now offers 7,000 hotel rooms across the UK, Ireland and one property in Prague.
Jurys Inn used that most recent new funding to beef up its meeting and conference space offer.
In a statement, the company said its business has been outperforming its competitors in the UK and Ireland, and the existing management team would stay in place.
“I would like to thank our existing shareholders for their commitment and support and welcome Lone Star Funds as our new owners,” Brennan said.
Prior to its acquisition less than two years ago, Jurys Inn was burdened by excessive debt and faced an uncertain future.
“The substantial investment in our business and brand, coupled with the efforts of management and our employees, have allowed us to deliver record results in recent years,” Brennan added.
Hassan Al Nabhani, chief executive of Oman Investment Fund, said debt restructuring had been key to the improved returns in recent years.
“Jurys Inn is one of OIF’s earliest investments. The capital restructuring undertaken in May 2013, with the co-operation of the lenders and our partners, revived the group, paving a new path of growth and progress,” he said.
Lone Star Funds has been hoovering up a lot of European assets, including The Hotel Collection (formerly Puma Hotels). It is also reported to be one of the frontrunners for the assets Starwood Capital is thought to be disposing of under project Milan, which accounts for about a third of the De Vere Venues portfolio up for sale. City sources believe bids in the region of £180m are being sought.
Lone Star’s deal for Jurys is subject to Irish competition authorities’ approval, but is likely to be completed by March.
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