Louis FitzGerald refinances with Broadhaven and AIB

Anglo loans secured against well- known Dublin pubs

Louis FitzGerald, the publican and hotelier, has refinanced his empire with the support of Broadhaven Credit Partners and AIB.

Mr FitzGerald's business originally borrowed more than €60 million from the former Anglo Irish Bank to help build up his pubs and hotels business. This loan was later acquired by Goldman Sachs, the investment bank, as part of a portfolio sale earlier this year.

Mr FitzGerald confirmed to The Irish Times that he refinanced in recent days with Broadhaven and AIB, an existing banker to his business.

Broadhaven, a €200 million long-term finance company, is a joint venture between Sankaty Advisors, a $25 billion credit specialist, and Irish billionaire Dermot Desmond.


Anglo loans

Mr FitzGerald’s Anglo loans were secured against well- known pubs, including

The Stag's Head



in Dublin as well as the

Arlington Hotel

in the capital.

Mr FitzGerald said most but not all of the assets of The Fitzgerald Pub & Hotel Group of 21 pubs and three hotels were included in the refinancing.

“I can confirm [my refinancing] but I’m not in a position to comment on my financial affairs,” Mr Fitzgerald said. “We are happy with where we are going.”

Mr FitzGerald said his business employs between 750 and 900 people and the refinancing secures its future while allowing it to expand when new opportunities arise.

“We are happy to be where we are today. It is very important for our staff that there is a long-term future there” in terms of banking support, he added.

Mr FitzGerald is one of Dublin’s best-known businessmen, and his son Eddie also holds a senior position in the group.

In 2006 Mr Fitzgerald was one of a consortium of businessmen led by Niall Quinn who acquired English football team Sunderland AFC.

In 2008 the club was sold to Ellis Short, an American billionaire investor.

Non-bank finance

Broadhaven was set up earlier this year to provide non-bank finance.

In October it said in a statement: "Broadhaven is specifically focused on supporting Irish corporates and SMEs. It sees significant potential for Irish businesses to grow and develop, and is keen to support the realisation of this potential through financing appropriate investments." Stewart Doyle, who previously worked with Mr Desmond in his investment company QED Equity, and David Cullen, a corporate banker who formerly worked with Better Capital, have been appointed as its two principals.

Alon Avner, managing director with Sankaty Advisors in London, recently joined Broadhaven’s board.