Belfast Telegraph

Hotels group in Republic of Ireland raises £86m for expansion

By Samantha McCaughren

Private individuals in the Republic poured close to €20m (£18m) into the €97m (£86m) refinancing of the iNua hotel group, which owns the Hillgrove Hotel in Monaghan, according to Cork-based investment firm Blackbee.

David O'Shea of Blackbee said that the firm had raised €39m (£34m) in equity, with about half coming from Irish pension funds and half from individuals.

There was a minimum investment of €25,000 (£22,000) required, according to Blackbee documentation. The debt of €58m (£51m) was provided by Earlsfort Capital, an alternative capital provider. iNua is now expected to embark on an expansion strategy.

Alongside the Hillgrove, the investment provides exposure for investors to a portfolio of six other hotels, including Muckross Park, Killarney; Kilkenny Hibernian; and four Radisson Hotels in Athlone, Cork, Limerick, and Sligo. The investment marketed by Blackbee is in the form of an unsecured note with a target return of 75% at maturity in 2023.

Investors will enjoy 80% of the uplift in value at maturity, with the remaining 20% retained by iNua plc. Blackbee's directors include former Ulster Bank chief economist Pat McArdle.

Belfast Telegraph

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