DUBLIN-A portfolio of 20 “budget-plus” hotels in Ireland and elsewhere in the UK has been acquired by Quinlan Private for $1.56 billion. Encompassing 4,835 rooms, the properties operate under the Jurys Inn brand, heretofore a division of the Jurys Doyle Hotel Group.

“This is a highly attractive business with enormous growth opportunities which we are delighted to acquire,” says QP director Pauline Bradley, who negotiated the deal for the international property and private equity investment and advisory firm. Principal Thomas Dowd says the venture “demonstrates [QP's] ability to complete attractive deals quickly,” also citing capital partner Anglo Irish Bank for helping accomplish that feat, especially for an asset that attracted plentiful competition.

The sale completes a strategy by locally based JDHG to concentrate on its luxury hotel portfolio, a group assembled in the UK and the US, where the firm has one hotel in Boston and three in Washington, DC. The Inns division was then offered for sale by JDHG, which developed most of the properties as a public company before going private in 2005. Located in city centers, 14 of the hotels divested are in the UK and six are in Ireland.

QP officials say they intend to expand the brand in existing markets and beyond. New regions will also be pursued, especially Central and Eastern Europe. “Quinlan Private’s track record of managing hotel assets for investors and our expertise in Western, Central and Eastern Europe will be key in rolling out the Jurys Inn product in those markets,” QP chief executive Olan Cremin says in a statement.

With total assets under management of $13.4 billion, QP invests in office, residential and retail product, but is well represented in the hospitality sector. Hotels owned include Four Seasons in Budapest, Dublin and Prague, and what QP terms the “super-luxury” Maybourne Hotel Group in London and Yasmin Hotels in Central Europe. Earlier this quarter, a group of investors advised and led by QP purchased 47 UK Marriot Hotels for $2.1 billion.

Rated as three stars, the Jurys Inn hotels were developed beginning in 1993. The properties are located in Irish venues in Belfast, Cork, Galway, Dublin and Limerick; there are English properties in Leeds, London, Manchester, Nottingham, and Southampton; and Jurys Inns in Glasgow and Edinburgh. In discussing the acquisition, Bradley says QP was attracted by the Jurys Inn management team, headed up by Niall Geoghegan. “We look forward to working with the team to rapidly roll-out further hotels in Ireland and the UK, she says. In addition to Anglo Irish Bank’s role as debt arranger, QP employed Perella Weinberg Partners as financial advisors and A&L Goodbody and Allen & Overy for legal guidance.

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