Swedish hotel group on track to buy Jurys Inn for €900m

Hotel chain is set to change hands for the second time in three years

Jurys Inn was originally set up as part of the old Jurys Doyle stock-market listed company. Photograph: Alan Betson

Jurys Inn was originally set up as part of the old Jurys Doyle stock-market listed company. Photograph: Alan Betson

 

Swedish hotel group Pandox is on track to buy the Jurys Inn business, which is set to achieve £800 million (€903 million) as it is changes hands for the second time in three years.

Pandox said in a statement on Tuesday that it has “entered a negotiating phase” about the potential acquisition of a “hotel portfolio focused on larger cities in Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland”. It didn’t name Jurys Inn.

Estates Gazette, a UK real-estate publication, first reported that the Stockholm-based company has been selected as preferred bidder for the business by US private equity group Lone Star. The deal involves the group’s 36 Jurys Inn hotels in the UK and Ireland and one of its six Hilton-branded properties.

“Pandox would like to emphasise that deal is complex and that current negotiations may not necessarily lead to an agreement,” it said.

Lone Star bought Jurys Inn for £680 million in early 2015, subsequently selling some hotels, rebranding others and committing up to £130 million of investment across the business.

The five remaining Hilton-branded prime city hotels, including the Hilton Garden Inn in Dublin’s International Financial Services Centre, will remain in Lone Star’s wider hotels portfolio.

Debt write-off

Jurys Inn was originally set up as part of the old Jurys Doyle stock-market listed company. It was sold in 2007 for €1.166 billion to a group of investors put together by financier Derek Quinlan.

Mr Quinlan subsequently sold half the equity to Oman Investment Fund but it ran into difficulties with its lenders following the 2008 global financial crash.

In 2013, the hotel chain succeeded in restructuring its debt, agreeing a debt write-off of £290 million with its banks, which included Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, AIB and Ulster Bank.

The transaction currently under negotiation will see the operator of the Jurys Inn hotels which are being sold – Dublin-based Amaris Hospitality, led by John Brennan – replaced by Leonardo Hotels, the European division of Israel’s Fattal Hotels.

Amaris will continue to manage about 25 hotels, including the five Hilton-branded hotels being retained.

Pandox is said to plan to continue to run the hotels under the Jurys Inn brand and current management team, led by Jason Carruthers.