Fortress takes majority stake in Irish hospitality group

Jim Murphy CEO PREM Group
Jim Murphy, CEO of Prem Group. (Prem Group)

Fortress Investment Group has bought a majority stake in Dublin-headquartered hospitality company Prem Group for an undisclosed sum.

Fortress will invest alongside the existing management team, who are reinvesting the majority of their equity interests, as they aim to grow the company through the acquisition of freehold hotel and serviced apartment properties in the UK, Ireland and continental Europe. 

The expansion of serviced apartment brand Premier Suites into target cities across Europe will be one of the top priorities for the group.

Established in 1996, the Dublin-headquartered Prem Group leases, owns and manages 38 hotels and serviced apartment properties in Ireland, the UK, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Its fifteen serviced apartment properties are operated under the group’s own Premier Suites brand.

Prem Group is also the parent company to several business units which include revenue management business RateWise, and digital marketing agency Sprint Digital.

Founded in 1998, Fortress manages approximately $53.9 billion of assets on behalf of approximately 1,800 institutional clients and private investors worldwide across a range of credit and real estate, private equity, and permanent capital investment strategies.

What They Said

Jim Murphy, CEO of Prem Group said: “The investment by Fortress Investment Group will provide significant further capital for expansion, including into geographies such as Germany in which the group is not currently present. Fortress recognise that we already have a strong regional presence across Europe underpinned by a team of dynamic hospitality experts who are primed for future growth. While we have a strong balance sheet, we believed that we needed to add a tenacious equity partner in order to achieve our ambitious growth targets for the next five years.”

Stephen Loftus, commercial director and chief financial officer of Prem Group, said: “Our plans for growth are already well underway. We are in advanced negotiations on several opportunities in our target markets for our Premier Suites serviced apartments and limited-service hotels. These deals will compliment Prem Group’s existing pipeline which includes two ‘Express by Holiday Inn’ hotels which will open in Belgium in 2023.”

Cyril Courbage, managing director and Robert Miles, director, Fortress Investment Group, said in a joint statement: "We are very excited about our investment in Prem Group, and look forward to working with Jim, Stephen and the rest of the management team to build upon the solid foundations they have laid. We are particularly enthusiastic about partnering with them to grow their market leading serviced apartments business, which we consider to be a resilient and rapidly institutionalising segment of the market. We plan to invest significant further capital in further acquisitions in this sector and others, across the UK, Ireland and Continental Europe."