Irish hospitality firm iNua refinances hotel portfolio

A consortium including AllianceBernstein and Earlsfort Capital Partners has provided finance to replace a €67m loan.

Dublin-headquartered hotel specialist iNua Hospitality has sourced debt to refinance its Irish hotel portfolio from a group of lenders including US investment manager AllianceBernstein and Irish finance firm Earlsfort Capital Partners.

The facility refinances a portfolio of eight four- and five-star hotels located across Ireland containing a total of 864 beds. The properties included Radisson Blu hotels in locations including Sligo, Cork and Limerick.

The loan amount was not confirmed, but it replaces a €67 million purchase and refinancing package provided solely by Earlsfort in 2018. The borrower was advised by real estate consultant CBRE’s debt and structured finance team.

Speaking to Real Estate Capital Europe, Stephanie Muller, director of debt and structured finance at CBRE said: “A lot of capital is looking to back experienced sponsors and good assets in the hospitality space. Obtaining financing against this portfolio was therefore not particularly difficult given its strengths.”

In a statement, iNua said its revenues reached €64.5 million in 2022, up 13 percent on pre-covid revenues. Its hotels are positioned towards the domestic leisure, corporate and international markets. This year, the group plans to invest more than €2 million in the refurbishment of bedrooms, enhancing hotel facilities and sustainability initiatives, it added.

Muller added CBRE has seen strong lender appetite for hospitality. “There is strong appetite to finance hospitality assets from both banks and alternative lenders, with the latter forming the majority of active players in the space today, and they also are able to offer more flexibility.

“In light of the increase in reference rates, lenders are very focused on debt service coverage ratios and thus on sponsors’ business plans and their ability to deliver on it. There is a high demand to lend to the right assets and sponsors,” she added.

Sean O’Driscoll, chief executive officer at iNua Hospitality, said the portfolio recovered well following the pandemic and said the firm has experienced strong demand with occupancy at 82 percent in the first half of 2023 and revenues up 23 percent on the previous year.