Saturday 25 October 2014

Hotel group's €140m loan sold to US investor

Joe Brennan and Neil Callanan

Published 05/01/2013 | 05:00

Tom Moran outside the Red Cow Inn in Dublin.

A loan linked to the hotel group behind the well-known Red Cow Inn and Bewleys Hotel chain has been sold by Lloyds Bank to US investor Canyon Capital Advisors, according to the hotel operator.

The €140m loan is a portion of Moran Hotel Group's €693m of debt, much of it linked to the €570m takeover of the Bewley s hotel chain in 2008.

UK-based Lloyds agreed to sell the €140m loan at a discount of about 70pc to a unit of US hedge fund Canyon, according to two sources.

That debt is owed to a wider group of banks that also includes Bank of Ireland, AIB and Ulster Bank.

The share of the debt held by Lloyds was originally advanced by its Bank of Scotland (Ireland) unit.

Tom Moran's Irish hotel business is "at an advanced stage of a restructuring plan", the company said in an email to Bloomberg News.

Cutting a debt-reducing restructuring deal is likely to be far easier with a lender who paid a fraction of face value for its share of the loans.

Lloyds is selling off its Irish loans after taking £11.8bn in impairment charges on them since the property collapse in 2008, according to Bloomberg News calculations.

It means about 40pc of its peak Irish loan book has already been written off.

Two months ago Lloyds sold a £1.5bn (€1.8bn) portfolio of Irish property debt at 10pc of its face value in one of the most aggressive asset sell-offs by any investor since the start of the crash. (Bloomberg)

Irish Independent

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