Monday 23 April 2018

New finance director at EBS as €1bn bond issued

Joe Brennan

EBS HAS appointed Emer Finnan as its new finance director, on a day when the building society completed a €1bn bond placement under the new state guarantee scheme.

Ms Finnan, was appointed an executive director of EBS in 2007 with responsibility for strategy, legal and company secretarial services.

She had also effectively been handling the finance function since last April, when Alan Merriman stepped down after the mutual reported a €38.2m loss for 2008, as a result of its disastrous foray into property development lending in the boom years.

Ms Finnan, who has more than two decades of experience in financial services, previously worked with NCB Corporate Finance, ABN Amro, Citibank and KPMB.

Merger She has been highly involved, together with EBS chief executive Fergus Murphy, in the lender's merger talks with Irish Nationwide Building Society, which have been ongoing since late last year. “Emer brings exceptional experience and skills to the role of finance director at this important time both for EBS and the financial services sector,” said Mr Murphy.

“The Board and I are delighted with her appointment and believe she will make a very positive contribution to the further development of EBS.”

Yesterday also saw EBS complete the placement of a €1bn, five-year bond in a deal led by brokers JP Morgan, Deutsche Bank, BNP Paribas and Credit Suisse.

The issue was priced at 1.6 percentage points over the benchmark mid-swaps market rate, which stands at 2.51pc.

Debt-market sources said that EBS would have had to pay at least 1.7pc over the mid-swaps rate had it tried to tap the debt markets last week during the height of the Greek budget crisis.

It is understood that the bond sale was 1.4 times oversubscribed, with German and UK institutional investors counting as the main buyers.

Irish investors took up 15pc of the deal. Mr Murphy said that the society was “very pleased with the transaction and believes that it has priced extremely well for EBS”.

All told, four Irish lenders have raised a combined €6bn in the public bond markets so far this year under the extended guarantee scheme.

Irish Independent

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