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Dalata announces sale of London hotel to UK group as it focuses on more ‘central’ locations

By Sarah Collins
The Clayton Crown Hotel in London

Dalata, Ireland’s largest hotel operator, is to sell the Clayton Crown Hotel in London for £21m (€24m).

The company announced the sale of the iconic property to the British AG Hotels Group, with the sale expected to complete by June 2022.

Dalata said the 152-bedroom hotel, located in Cricklewood, north London, is “no longer deemed a core hotel asset” as the company increasingly looks to more central locations.

The hotel was acquired by Dalata in 2015.

“The consideration represents excellent value for Dalata and the proceeds will be reinvested in the business,” the company said in a statement.

The Clayton brand will not be included as part of the transaction, although Dalata – which also operates the Maldron brand – said it would be retaining hotel management.

All other employees can choose to remain in their current roles in the hotel or apply for vacant positions in other hotels, chief executive Dermot Crowley said.

“This transaction represents excellent value and will assist us in our continued focus on securing central opportunities in attractive cities of the UK and continental Europe,” Mr Crowley said.

He said London “continues to be a priority” for Dalata, which is set to open a new Maldron hotel in Shoreditch, in London’s East End, in the second half of 2023.

Davy analyst Colin Grant said the sale of the Crown was “logical” given the age and green credentials of the hotel, which will require “investment” to bring it up to the standard of other buildings in the group.

Dalata has been seeking to grow its presence in the UK and continental Europe, and last month opened its first hotel in Bristol, its 17th in the UK as a whole.

The first quarter saw Dalata open two hotels in Manchester and later this year will see the opening of a Clayton hotel in Glasgow.

Post-2022, Dalata has a further pipeline of new hotel openings across the UK, which includes hotels in London, Brighton, Liverpool and Manchester.

Dalata aims to boost its UK footprint by 65pc between the start of 2022 and 2024, bringing its UK room total to over 5,000.

Dalata owns or leases 48 hotels, with 10,511 rooms, and has a pipeline of over 1,500 rooms.

Last year the group reported revenue of €192m and a loss after tax of €6.3m.

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