Sunday 18 February 2018

Desmond does deal for Gaiety's €60m bank loans

FINANCE: Denis Desmond
FINANCE: Denis Desmond
Nick Webb

Nick Webb

LIVE Nation, the €3bn NYSE-listed showbiz giant, has taken a key role in the €60m re-financing of Denis Desmond's Gaiety music empire as it paid off its loans to Bank of Scotland (Ireland).

"Gaiety Investments has completed an exit from BOS Ireland through the use of internal funds and new finance raised locally," according to a statement from Gaiety Investments given to the Sunday Independent late last week.

Earlier this month, Live Nation registered a charge over Desmond's Gaiety Investments' stake in the LN Gaiety joint venture as part of a "loan agreement". Gaiety Investments (which Desmond co-owned with Caroline Downey) has a 50 per cent stake in the concert promoter. The State's biggest legal firm, Arthur Cox, advised on the deal.

LN Gaiety was created as a joint venture in 2008, when Live Nation bought into one of Desmond's operations.

The group is a major shareholder in the Electric Picnic Festival, owning a 71 per cent stake in the hugely successful dad rock and organic hummus gathering in Stradbally.

Desmond has been working to re-finance borrowings with the former Bank of Scotland (Ireland) as the bank continued with plans to withdraw from the Irish market. He is understood to have owed up to €60m to the bank. This new deal sees him exit the Bank of Scotland (Ireland) stable.

New company filings show that the music tycoon has agreed to pledge a swathe of previously unencumbered company-owned assets to the bank, now part of the Lloyds group, as part of the process.

During the summer, Bank of Scotland agreed new facilities with Gaiety Investments, with the firm using a Los Monteros property in Marbella as security.

Another property bought by Gaiety Investments in Arona, near Marbella, in 2007 is also listed as security for a loan. Other assets, including trademarks and contracts, are likewise listed as security.

Sunday Independent

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