Dalata agrees debt extension

Clayton
A Clayton Hotel property.

Insight Comment
Quite a big couple of days for Dalata with a new CEO starting, the appointment of a new chief operations officer and the extension to its debt facilities. All this against a backdrop of improved trading conditions.

Dublin-headquartered Dalata Hotel Group has agreed a 12-month extension to its debt facilities.

The facilities now consist of a €200 million term loan facility, with a maturity date of 26 October 2025 and a €364.4 million revolving credit facility: €304.9 million with a maturity date of 26 October 2025 and €59.5 million with a maturity date of 30 September 2023.

The lengthening comes in the wake of stronger than expected trading in September and October at the company’s hotels. Occupancies for the two-month period were: 60% in Dublin, 67% in regional Ireland, 72% in London and 75% in regional UK and Northern Ireland.

There were concerns in the industry that staycation demand would taper off and not be replaced but Dalata said “uplift in demand from domestic corporates and project work” had covered it with help from “[d]omestic leisure demand at weekends” and the resumption of international travel. 

Dalata also announced the appointment of Conal O'Neill as chief operations officer from 1 January 2022. This follows the announcement in September that Deputy CEO Stephen McNally was to retire.

O'Neill joined Dalata in 2014 as group operations manager before taking on the role of group general manager for Maldron Hotels in 2016. 

His appointment comes a couple of days after new CEO Dermot Crowley officially top up his position.

What They Said

Dermot Crowley, Dalata Hotel Group CEO: "I am delighted that we have reached agreement with our banking club to extend our facilities out to October 2025. This reflects the strength of our financial position and the quality of our relationships with our banking partners. 

“Although trading has been better than expected over the last five months, we need to maintain financial flexibility given the uncertain trajectory of Covid-19 since March 2020. Against that backdrop, it is very positive that the banking club have also agreed to defer testing of the Net Debt to EBITDA and Interest Cover covenants until June 2023.

"The ongoing support we have received from our banking partners, shareholders and institutional landlords, coupled with the welcome assistance from the Irish and UK Governments, has been critical in allowing us to protect the business and our employees during this time.”