February 2016: Pat McCann, CEO, Dalata Hotel Group

Business Person of the Month | Mon 7 Mar | Author – Business & Finance Pat McCann

A series of new deals and the release of strong annual results are further achievements in the career of this well-known hotelier.

It’s been a good start to the year for Dalata Hotel Group and its CEO, Pat McCann. The vastly experienced Sligo-born hotelier has announced 2015 results filled with highlights and positive news. Not only that, but a slew of acquisitions suggests that 2016 will be just as busy for the Maldron and Clayton brand-owning hotel group, Ireland’s largest operator.

“2015 has been a remarkable year for Dalata,” he explained. “The results for 2015 highlight the momentous change that the group has undergone as a result of the acquisition of 15 hotels. We now have a strong operating platform and management capacity from which we will continue to grow and create value for our stakeholders.”

Last year McCann and his team integrated those 15 hotels into the group, an acquisition that cost €558.8m for nine Moran Bewley hotels, along with six others, off the back of €202.2m in equity funding and €282m in debt funding. Dalata also deployed the Clayton brand in 13 Irish and UK hotels, and rebranded their Pearse Street and Newlands Cross hotels as Maldrons. The group reported a 185% increase in revenue to €225.7m and a profit before tax of €28m. By the end of the year, the group had grown to 5,484 hotel rooms.

EXPANSION

As for those new deals, McCann has spent the first two months of the year further expanding the Dalata portfolio. “Since year end we announced further acquisitions of the Tara Towers Hotel in Dublin, a prime site in the centre of Dublin for the construction of a new Clayton hotel which is expected to be completed in the first half of 2018, and exchanged contracts to purchase the Clarion Hotel in Sligo,” he said.

“We have also exchanged contracts to buy the leasehold interests of four hotels from Choice Ireland for €4m. We have now committed €113m of the funds we raised in October last year. We have €130m remaining for further acquisitions and are very comfortable with the pipeline of opportunities.”

It’s no surprise, then, that McCann believes that “2016 will be another busy and exciting year for all at Dalata”.

DECADES OF EXPERIENCE

McCann’s current-day status as an industry leader and CEO of one of Ireland’s most prolific hotel groups is built on a solid bedrock of experience. His career began at Ryan Hotels plc, where he served for 20 years before joining Jurys Hotel Group as general manager of its leading hotel in 1989. He rose to become operations director and join the Jurys board, and led the integration of the Doyle Hotel Group after it was acquired by Jurys in 1999. He made CEO the following year.

McCann departed Jurys Doyle in 2006 after the group’s flagship hotels were sold to Sean Dunne. He became an independent hospitality consultant, and was then approached to start Dalata in 2007. It floated two years ago.

McCann has also served as a director of EBS Building Society and Greencore Group, as national president of the Irish Hotels Federation, and as a member of the National Tourism Council and the Irish Tourism Review Group.

Dalata was an unlikely survivor of a financial crisis that hit the hospitality industry hard – making it all the more remarkable that Pat McCann now presides over Ireland’s largest hotel group a decade after he considered retiring. 

CV highlights

  • Pat McCann became group CEO of Dalata in 2007.
  • His career began with Ryan Hotels plc in 1969.
  • He joined Jurys Hotel Group in 1989 as a general manager.
  • McCann served as CEO of Jurys from 2000 to 2006, before working as an independent consultant.
  • Dalata floated on the Dublin and London Stock Exchanges in 2014.
  • McCann has overseen Dalata’s growth to become Ireland’s biggest hotel group in less than a decade.