Monday 23 September 2019

Cardinal backs ex-rugby star out of Nama

Wilbur Ross. Photo: Mark Condren
Wilbur Ross. Photo: Mark Condren
Gavin McLoughlin

Gavin McLoughlin

Former Leinster rugby player and businessman Paul Hennebry has exited Nama by refinancing his loans through the mezzanine fund backed by Cardinal Capital and Wilbur Ross, the Sunday Independent can reveal.

Hotelier Hennebry, the president of Terenure College rugby club, is now on the verge of acquiring the Citi Hotel beside the Central Bank on Dublin's Dame Street with his brothers Michael and Barry, with the transaction set to close next week.

The refinanced loans had a par value of around €25m, a source said. Both Hennebry and Cardinal declined to comment.

Cardinal is the brainchild of Nigel McDermott, who founded National City Stockbrokers with financier Dermot Desmond, and Nick Corcoran, a founding director of Zurich Capital Markets.

As well as the joint venture with Ross, it has another joint venture with US asset management giant the Carlyle Group, which is designed to invest in Irish SMEs - both north and south of the border.

That fund has invested in chocolate and dessert maker Lily O'Brien's, meat and ready-meals company Carroll Cuisine, and payments business Payzone.

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