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Santander boosts Beannchor with new finance package

27th February 2012 Print

Hospitality group Beannchor has completed a £5 million refinancing deal with Santander Corporate Banking, putting the company on a firm footing for future growth.

The company, owned by Bill Wolsey, owns more than 50 pubs and two hotels in Northern Ireland, including Belfast's first five star hotel, The Merchant Hotel, which he developed after purchasing and refurbishing the old headquarters of Ulster Bank.

Bill bought his first licensed premises in Bangor in 1975 and now owns a number of Northern Ireland's notable pubs and hotels, including The Spaniard, Muriel's, The Portaferry Hotel, Lisbarnett House and The Hillside in Hillsborough. The company specialises in purchasing underperforming venues or locations with historical significance and restoring the business according to its historical roots.

Beannchor leases out its pubs and bars portfolio, largely to former employees, but still plays a fundamental role in the support it provides to tenants, including purchasing, financial, design and general commercial support. The Group employs around 600 people.

James Sinton, Beannchor Group Finance Director, said:  "We have forged a strong working relationship with the team at Santander Corporate Banking; it was evident from the early stages that Peter understood our sector and the group's ambitions within it.  To have a supportive banking partner in this economic climate is hard to come by and I look forward to further strengthening our relationship with Santander in the future".

Peter Torrens, Regional Director for Santander Corporate Banking, Northern Ireland, said: "We are pleased to have been able to provide this new funding package to Bill and his team following the withdrawal of their previous bank from the market. We look forward to further developing our strong partnership with Beannchor  as they enter this exciting new stage of their development."

Legal firm Carson McDowell acted as advisers for Santander on the deal.