The Dalata hotel group started trading on the Irish and London stock exchanges today.

The company, which is the largest hotel operator in Ireland, is now listed on the ESM market of the Irish Stock Exchange and the AIM market in London.

It finished the day at €2.77, having had it's IPO set at €2.50.

Dalata has raised €265m and said it will use the money to buy a number of new properties in the country. 

The company operates 40 hotels with over 6,100 rooms. All of the hotels in the group's portfolio are located in Ireland, with the exception of the Maldron Hotel in Cardiff. 

It also operates 12 hotels under lease agreements, one hotel under a long term operating agreement and 27 hotels under short term management agreements. 

Its chief executive Pat McCann has said that the time was now right to buy Irish hotels. 

Dalata is looking to purchase up to 25 properties as part of its planned expansion and is thought to be in discussions with the National Asset Management Agency and Bank of Scotland, amongst others, about the possibility of buying portfolios of hotel assets.   

"We are delighted with the reaction to our fundraising in recent weeks and in particular that we have successfully raised €265m," commented Pat McCann. 

"We are pleased to welcome quality international institutions as shareholders on admission and believe that this reflects the strength of our investment case and prospects. The capital raised through this placing will allow Dalata to pursue its strategy of acquiring a portfolio of Irish hotel assets," he added.