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easyHotel flotation plan to aid expansion

Easyjet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou has announced plans to list his budget hotel chain on the stock market in what will be the first flotation the tycoon has attempted since his airline joined the stock exchange in 2000.

His easyHotel business, which currently runs 20 hotels, wants to raise £60 million to fund expansion.

Part of the cash raised will be used to repay a shareholder loan which is believed to be a sum of between £5 million and £10 million from Sir Stelios.

easyHotel, which was founded in 2004, said it wants to use the cash to build more wholly-owned hotels around the world. The firm currently runs two hotels it owns, as well as having 17 franchised units. It operates in cities such as London, Dubai, and Johannesburg as well as Sir Stelios's native Cyprus.

Sir Stelios said: "I see easyHotel as one of the best, most natural extensions of the easy brand from the airline. easyHotel is raising money to accelerate growth at a much faster rate than I could have grown it as a private company." The business said Sir Stelios will retain a "significant minority stake" in the firm, believed to be around 35%, once it has gone public. easyHotel is set to float on London's junior AIM market, but is yet to set out a timetable or release detailed pricing plans.

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