Business Irish

Monday 20 February 2017

Bruton aboard company selling bond promising 40pc return

Gavin McLoughlin and Sinead Ryan

Published 22/05/2016 | 02:30

John Bruton: ‘Opportunities for Irish companies in India’. Photo: Tom Burke
John Bruton: ‘Opportunities for Irish companies in India’. Photo: Tom Burke

Former Taoiseach John Bruton is head of international relations for an Irish company selling a corporate bond promising a 40pc return over three years.

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Dublin-based Europa Strategic Partners is selling the bond. The proceeds will be used to fund Europa Security, which provides security services in India including the protection of cash transit vehicles and manned guarding.

The 40pc return is underpinned by a personal guarantee from Europa's majority shareholder Stuart Baillie.

"Of course, any guarantee is only as strong as the track record of the person providing it, and their financial standing," Europa's website says.

"In the case of the guarantee underpinning the Europa Strategic Partners Corporate Bond, Stuart has a track record in repaying corporate loan notes and his financial standing is solid and verifiable."

The bond is of such a nature that it does not need to be regulated by the Central Bank. The generous rate of return is likely to attract significant interest in the current low-interest-rate environment. The bond is available to companies and private individuals.

Bruton joined Europa as head of international relations in early 2016. "Quickly it became apparent to me the scale of the opportunity facing Irish security companies who choose India as a location for their operations," he's quoted as saying on Europa's website.

"India is politically stable and is enjoying strong economic growth, especially within the private security sector. In fact, their private security sector is expected to double in size by 2020. With a pro-business government and a growing, expectant middle-class, I believe India is a country which offers exceptional opportunities."

In his role as head of international relations, Bruton is not involved in day-to-day operations or the financing of the company.

Baillie is listed as a member of the company's management team on its website. Previously he worked at Red Circle Technologies and PrePayPower. In his profile on europasp.com, Baillie says a successful loan note programme at PrePayPower inspired the Europa bond programme.

He says Europa began trading in Hyderabad in the spring of 2015. "It is clear from the market response that the commercial opportunity for the company is exceptional. In order to fund and grow our operations in Hyderabad we are offering very attractive rates on our loan notes. My confidence in the project is such that I am personally guaranteeing the loan notes."

Also listed as a member of Europa's management team is security expert and former Defence Forces member Declan Power.

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