Puma Hotels secures future with new bank deal

18 May 2009 by
Puma Hotels secures future with new bank deal

The property owner behind Barceló Hotels & Resorts in the UK has secured its mid-term future by striking a new debt agreement with its bank.

Puma Hotels, which was previously known as Dawnay Shore Hotels, owns 20 four-star properties across the UK including the Lygon Arms in the Cotswolds and Imperial in Torquay.

Puma's debt facility with Anglo Irish Bank had been due to end at the end of this year but has now been extended until 2012.

As part of the deal, the facility will be reduced from £350m (of which £347.5m is currently drawn) to £332.3m. Puma plans to raise £20m towards this by placing new shares with existing shareholders.

Howard Shore, chairman of Puma Hotels, said: "In a challenging credit market, we are delighted to have entered into an agreement to extend the maturity of the group's senior debt facility to December 2012."

In the year to 31 December 2008, turnover comprising rent from Barceló was £28.5m This compared with £77m a year earlier, which was a mix of revenue from hotel operations and rent from Barceló.

Operating profit increased to £23.9m (2007: £11.1m) in the period, but interest debt payments totalling £29.5m saw the company make an £8.8m loss in the year (2007: loss of £25m).

Dawnay Shore Hotels became Puma Hotels in July 2008 in a bid to distance itself from the collapse of investment firm and backer Dawnay, Day Group due to the credit crunch.

Since 1 January 2008, its hotel portfolio has been branded and operated by Spanish hotel group Barceló under a lease agreement.

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By Chris Druce

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