Irish Hotel Chain Raises Funds for New European Openings

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The Ireland-based Jurys Inn hotel chain has raised a further $98.9 million to aid its European expansion push. The Oman Investment Fund and Quinlan Private, the investment firm, have each invested $24 million, with Allied Irish Banks and Anglo Irish collectively putting in a further $49.5 million.

The funds will be used to mainly to help the mid-market chain establish itself in Europe, whilst maintaining its UK growth. The group is schedule to open its first hotel on the continent in Prague in September.

The capital injection despite Jurys trading slowing. Revenue per available room (revpar), fell eight percent in the four months to the end of April with occupancy down three percent.

In return for the equity capital injection, Jurys has also secured an extension to the maturity of a large part of $1.3 billion in debt.

The company currently operates seven hotels in Ireland and 21 in the UK. It has expanded in the UK this year with new hotels in Derby, Sheffield, Watford, Exeter and Swindon, with plans for four new UK hotels in 2010.

The company said it was benefiting as private and public sector companies cut costs by trading down to mid-market and budget hotels.

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