Quinlan Private has appointed Barbara Cassani to the newly-created role of Chairman of Jurys Inns, the group’s budget hotel business. Cassani, who assumes the role with immediate effect, will work with Quinlan Private and the Jurys Inns management team to drive the growth and development of the Jurys Inns brand across Europe.
Cassani has a track record of developing fast-growing businesses profitably and has extensive experience in the budget travel sector. She was most recently Non-Executive Chairman of Barcelona-based low cost airline Vueling, prior to which she was a Partner of 3x + Y Ventures, a firm set up to identify acquisition and start-up opportunities in the UK travel, restaurant and hotel industries.
She is perhaps best known as Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Go-Fly, the European low cost airline founded with capital from British Airways and sold to Easyjet in 2002 for £374 million. She was subsequently first Chairman of the committee which successfully brought the 2012 Olympics to London. Cassani’s early career was as a consultant for Coopers & Lybrand, followed by 10 years at British Airways.
Jurys Inns, formerly a division of the Jurys Doyle Hotel Group, was acquired in June 2007 by Quinlan Private. The group is expanding the portfolio, under the Jurys Inns brand, through growth in the UK, Ireland, Continental Europe, and in Central and Eastern Europe, where QP has unique expertise.
Jurys Inns currently comprises 22 three star premium budget hotels in city centre locations throughout Ireland and the UK with a total of 4,835 rooms. Sixteen hotels are located in the UK and six in Ireland. Additionally the Group has 10 hotels in construction in the UK and a significant pipeline of sites in diligence in the UK and in Central and Eastern Europe.
Since acquisition significant progress has been made in the growth of the brand and new hotels have been opened in Plymouth and Brighton, with Liverpool set to open on April 15.
Quinlan Private has extensive expertise and a proven track record in the management and operation of hotels on behalf of investors. These hotels include the Four Seasons hotels in Dublin, Prague and Budapest, the Maybourne Hotel Group of super-luxury hotels in London and Yasmin Hotels in Central Europe.
Niall Geoghegan, Chief Executive, Jurys Inns said: “Barbara Cassani has an excellent understanding of the budget travel sector and brings with her a wealth of experience in developing businesses profitably. The Jurys Inns portfolio offers enormous potential and I look forward to working with Barbara to realise those exciting growth opportunities.”
Barbara Cassani said: “Jurys Inns has a strong management team, led by Niall Geoghegan, a premium brand and excellent growth and development potential. I am excited to be working with Niall and Quinlan Private, which has built a reputation for creating value for its investors, to deliver the results that underpinned last year’s acquisition of Jurys Inns.”