THE HISTORIC Crown Moran Hotel in Cricklewood is set to be sold to Ireland’s largest hotel group in a multi-million euro buyout of the majority of the Moran Bewley’s chain.
Following an extraordinary general meeting of Dalata Hotel Group shareholders yesterday, nine of Moran Bewley’s’ 10 hotels in Britain and Ireland are expected to be sold to the group.
Dalata – which operates 38 hotels in Ireland, many under their Maldron brand – was founded in June 2007 by Pat McCann, former Chief Executive of the Jurys Doyle Hotel Group.
The company is expected to pay €455m to acquire the extensive Moran Bewley’s portfolio this year.
The deal, being negotiated by Moran Bewley’s owner and Managing Director Tom Moran, will include the group’s two London venues – the Crown Moran and Chiswick Moran hotels – alongside their Bewley’s properties across Manchester, Leeds and Dublin.
The Silver Springs Moran Hotel in Co. Cork will also be taken up by the Dalata Group.
Dublin’s Red Cow Complex, comprising the Red Cow Moran Hotel and adjoining Red Cow Inn, will be the only properties retained by the Moran Group, with Tom and Sheila Moran as the sole owners.
“Dalata is acquiring a fabulous portfolio of hotels,” explained Mr Moran, “all of which I have been very proud to own and operate over the years.”
He added: “I know that with this sale Dalata haven’t simply acquired bricks and mortar but an excellent group with an impressive teamof people at its centre and I would like to personally thank all of the staff that have made Moran & Bewley’s Hotels such a valuable asset. Myself and my family wish the excellent staff and management teams continued success.”
After beginning his hospitality career in Britain in the 70s, where he and wife Sheila managed pubis across London, Tom Moran moved his family back to his hometown of Athea in Co. Limerick in the 80s to run their family business.
In 1988 he purchased his first property, the landmark ‘The Red Cow Inn’ in Dublin, for just over £1m - making it the first pub in Ireland to break the million pound barrier.
In 1996 he opened The Red Cow Moran Hotel adjacent to the Red Cow Inn.
Two years later he purchased The Crown pub in Cricklewood, north London, which he refurbished before developing the adjacent Crown Moran Hotel.
In 2006 he added the Chiswick Moran Hotel to his British portfolio, which was further extended in March 2008 when the Moran Group purchased Bewley's Hotels; a group of six hotels located across Dublin, Leeds and Manchester.
Mr Moran is now preparing to “explore new opportunities” in 2015 from his Red Cow Complex, he confirmed this week.
His son Tommy Moran, Business Development and Operations Director for the group, who is based at the Crown Moran Hotel in Cricklewood, was unable to comment on the sale when contacted by The Irish Post this week, but claimed it was “business as usual” at the popular venue until the process has “run its course”.