Tuesday 22 August 2017

Ulster coy over why it released charges on D4 hotels

Laura Noonan

Laura Noonan

ULSTER Bank has released its charges on Sean Dunne's trio of Ballsbridge hotels, according to new documents filed with the Companies' Office.

The move comes five months after the bank and two other lenders took over the three hotels in a massive debt-for-equity swap.

Ulster Bank said yesterday it could not comment on individual cases and, therefore, couldn't provide an explanation as to why the charges had been removed. Banking sources said charges typically remain in place in debt-for-equity situations unless the lenders' entire debt has been repaid.

In the case of the Ballsbridge hotels, however, the removal of the charges may have been part of the original debt-for-equity deal with the other lenders.

The documents show the charges over Jurys Ballsbridge, Jurys Towers and the Berkeley Court were all released on June 1, 2010. All three hotels now trade under the D4 Hotels marque and continue to be run by Mr Dunne's group.

In April, Ulster said it was "effectively" in control of companies that took over the hotels, -- with its 50.1pc trumping the stakes held by the other institutions.

Veto

"While the bank does not have a controlling interest in either (company), the consent of investors holding at least 66.6pc of the issued ordinary share capital is required for any major decision. Therefore the bank can veto any decision," it said.

"In addition, the bank can exert significant influence, and the fact that it is lead arranger and can veto all decisions effectively implies control."

Irish Independent

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