End game in sight for Desmond
The end game appears to be near on the debt restructuring being pursued by the impresario Denis Desmond, whose Longitude festival in Marlay Park starts today. The MCD owner, who owes about €60 million to Bank of Scotland (Ireland), has been in negotiations for months to secure a discount.
Certus, which is handling the wind-down of BoSI’s book, is known to be receptive to refinancing offers. Desmond, who is apparently negotiating the deal himself with no external advisors, is one of a slew of Irish corporate debtors to have sensed an opportunity.
Much of his business is in Britain, so he approached Bank of Scotland across the water to finance a discounted buyout of the loans held by Certus. Recently, it has registered an avalanche of charges against Desmond and his companies’ assets, a sure sign that the fat lady is humming on a deal.
Among Desmond’s assets upon which the bank now has first call is a mansion in the luxury Los Monteros complex in Marbella owned by his Gaiety Investments, against which it has a claim of €3.5m. It has also registered a €650,000 charge against another of his Spanish properties, a villa and swimming pool in Arona, Tenerife.
It has also taken charges against buildings including Desmond’s Dún Laoghaire HQ; a luxury apartment in Shrewsbury Square, Ballsbridge; The Academy music venue on Abbey Street; as well IP rights surrounding his music festivals and his share of several commercial contracts.