Jurys Doyle Opens New Jurys Inn at London Heathrow And Sells Jurys Green Isle Hotel

Jurys Doyle Hotel Group plc today, 6 February 2003, announced a number of strategic initiatives in line with its on-going development strategy. Agreement has been reached with BAA Lynton (BAA), the property division of BAA plc to construct a new 340 bedroom Jurys Inn at London Heathrow Airport. In a separate development, the Group announced that agreement has been reached for the disposal of the Dublin based Jurys Green Isle Hotel, as a going concern, to the Lynch Hotel Group for €11 million in cash. The Group also announced the refinancing of its new Jurys Inn Newcastle and has reached agreement to operate this hotel under a 35 year operating lease.

Jurys Doyle The 3-star ‘budget plus’ Jurys Inn Heathrow will consist of 340 bedrooms and will be located within the Heathrow airport complex, close to Hatton Cross underground train station. This new development is the result of a competitive tendering process which involved a number of leading international hotel groups. Jurys Doyle is entering into a 125-year ground lease with BAA and will invest approximately €34 million (Stg£22 million) in the construction of this new hotel. Construction of Jurys Inn Heathrow will commence in Summer 2003 and is planned to open in late 2004.

In addition to 340 bedrooms, Jurys Inn Heathrow will include a restaurant, bar facilities and dedicated meeting rooms together with parking for 125 cars. The eight storey hotel will front the A30 on the south east perimeter of the airport and, when opened, will be the only hotel property in the airport complex with underground train connections to London and other airport terminals at Heathrow. As well as being the world’s busiest airport, catering for 64 million passengers a year, the Heathrow area is one of the foremost business centres in the UK employing over 110,000 people. Work on Heathrow’s new Terminal 5 is due for completion in 2007 and is projected to increase traffic into the airport by a further 30%.

Commenting on the announcement of the new Jurys Inn Heathrow, Mr. Pat McCann, Chief Executive, Jurys Doyle Hotel Group plc said:
“Jurys Doyle has been looking for a suitable entry point to the London Heathrow market for some time and we are very pleased that BAA has chosen us to develop this new hotel within the airport complex. The development of our fourth Jurys Inn in the London area further demonstrates the advancement of our development strategy of expanding our 3-star ‘budget plus’ Jurys Inns alongside our 4-star Jurys Hotel brand and extends our market presence in London. Today’s announcements reflect the Group’s continued progress in realising the full potential of our brands, our hotel development expertise and our overall business expansion plans.”

While Jurys Green Isle Hotel in Dublin continues to perform well in its market, the 90 bedroom 3-star hotel does not fit into the Group’s strategic plan moving forward. Following an attractive offer by the Lynch Hotel Group a decision was made to dispose of the hotel as a going concern. The cash consideration of €11 million is above the re-valued carrying amount of this hotel at 30 April 2002. The announcement to dispose Jurys Green Isle Hotel follows the disposal, in July 2002, of two other 3-star hotels in Ireland.

Insignia Richard Ellis Gunne acted on behalf of Jurys Doyle in the transaction.
Commenting on this announcement, Mr. Pat McCann, said:
“Jurys Green Isle Hotel is an excellent hotel with a first rate team of employees. However, it is not suited to our strategic objectives. Having received an attractive offer from the Lynch Hotel Group we decided that it was an appropriate time to sell. We wish the new owners together with the management and staff every success for the future.”

The construction of Jurys Inn Newcastle is now completed and is scheduled to open on 14 February 2003. The 274 bedroom hotel is located at St. James’ Gate, a mixed development of retail, office and residential accommodation being undertaken by McAleer and Rushe Limited. Agreement has been reached to transfer ownership of the hotel to McAleer and Rushe Limited for a cash consideration of approximately €28 million (Stg£18.2 million) and to enter into a 35 year operating lease. The decision to transfer the Group’s interest in this property into an operating lease is in line with the Group’s financing strategy of developing hotels and inns through a combination of outright ownership and operating leases.

The announcement of Jurys Inn Heathrow, together with Jurys Inn Newcastle which opens next week and the planned opening of an additional four Jurys Inns in Glasgow, Leeds, Chelsea (London) and Dublin (Parnell Street) between Autumn 2003 and Summer 2004 will add over 1,600 new Jurys Inns bedrooms to the Group’s bedroom count.

Upon completion, Jurys Inn Heathrow will bring to 17 the number of Jurys Inns operating in Ireland and the United Kingdom - almost 4,000 bedrooms in total. Together with the Jurys Hotels portfolio it will bring to 36 the total number of properties being operated by the Group by the end of 2004 - representing over 7,700 bedrooms.

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