US private equity giant Apollo plans to audit 11 Irish Travelodges

US private equity giant Apollo is considering the sale of its portfolio of 11 Travelodge hotels in Ireland, reports the Sunday Times.

The hostels, which include five locations in Dublin, two in Limerick and one in Cork, Galway, Waterford and Belfast, are expected to fetch up to 275 million euros. Apollo acquired the hotels in 2018 from Goldman Sachs in a deal that saw it buy 19 hotels and hotel group Tifco for 400 million euros.

VentureWave Considers Opening Crowdfunding

The Sunday Times reports that an Irish private equity fund, called VentureWave Capital, and backed by actor Liam Neeson and members of U2, plans to launch a crowdfunding website to tap into the growing field of peer-to-peer lending.

The plan follows the Central Bank’s launch last week of a new crowdfunding regulatory regime, based on recent EU rules. The development has been welcomed by the biggest players operating in this space in the Republic, who say it will help grow the market.

Crowdfunding, the practice of funding a project or business by raising small amounts of equity or debt funding from large numbers of people, has exploded globally over the past decade. forcing policy makers and regulators to scrutinize the field.

Dunsink site set for rezoning of 7,000 homes

The Sunday Independent reports that Fingal County Council is set to rezone the Dunsink site which was previously the location of Dublin’s largest landfill to allow the construction of 7,000 homes.

The site comprises approximately 435 hectares, of which 200 will be made available for development. The plan would see the closed landfill transformed into a regional park. The landfill was closed in 2004. The rezoning was recommended by the council’s chief executive, according to the report.

Flipdish prepares its European expansion with new funds

Digital food-ordering platform Flipdish, which last week became the state’s fifth official “tech unicorn” after a $100 million investment led by Chinese conglomerate Tencent, plans to use the new funds to expand its presence in Europe, reports the Sunday Bueinss Post.

The funding, which follows a $48.5 million (€42 million) investment from Tiger Global Management early last year, values ​​the company at $1.25 billion.

Founded in 2015, Flipdish positions itself as an alternative to online fast food delivery aggregators such as Just Eat, Deliveroo and Uber Eats by helping restaurant owners integrate their online ordering capability in-house.

Flipdish estimates that there are more than one million potential customers in Europe alone who could use its platform, according to the report.

Aer Lingus warns of stalled ground handling outsourcing

Aer Lingus has warned it could switch to an outsourced model of its ground handling operations if staff refuse to accept a pay freeze and cuts, the Sunday Independent also reports.

The carrier claimed in a detailed submission to the labor court, amid a standoff with ground handling staff representatives, that it faced a difficult financial situation and mounting debt that would only s worsen when it releases its annual results for last year. It also faces a cost of 1 billion euros to replace 20 short-haul aircraft, he said.

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