Oakman Inns lowers secured debt interest through Cynergy

As part of its overall corporate and investment strategy for 2019-20, Oakman Inns & Restaurants, which owns and runs 24 pubs, restaurants and hotels in the South-East and Midlands, has partially refinanced their secured debt on two of its properties through an £11m loan from Cynergy Bank, in a deal that significantly lowers the company’s interest rate-burden.

The two pubs involved are The White Hart in Ampthill, Bedfordshire (pictured), and The Royal Foresters in Ascot, Berkshire. The White Hart is a Grade II listed building, which features a mural above the bar’s fireplace of the Prince of Wales feathers created by local artists in 1646. The pub also has a 1930s dining room which was built towards the end of the Arts and Craft era.

The Royal Foresters has been a meeting place in the centre of Ascot for over 140 years. The historic building has been refurbished, remade and redesigned since joining the Oakman Inns group. It now has 24 guest rooms, each with bespoke, contemporary interiors and is already a firm favourite with locals and for visitors to the surrounding attractions.

Cynergy Bank provided £3.172m for The White Hart and £7.809m for The Royal Foresters, and the new deals will significantly reduce interest charges. Additionally, the loans were provided with an initial 12-month interest-only period followed by repayments modelled over a 24-year term.

Peter Borg-Neal, CEO and founder of Oakman Inns, said, “We have several planned developments in 2020 which will continue to grow Oakman Inns. With increased revenue last year of 37% and group EBITDA increasing by 50%, we are becoming an ever-bigger player in the market, but we have to remain financially shrewd while maintaining the corporate ethos that has seen so many communities embrace our environmental and sustainable principles.”

Steven Kenee, chief investment officer at Oakman Inns & Restaurants, said “I am delighted to announce the completion of the refinance with Cynergy Bank. The deal has significantly reduced our cost of capital.

'Our relationship director, Steve Crosswell, and all the team at Cynergy proved to be a sensible, pragmatic and straightforward partner to deal with throughout the process. We are very much looking forward to the next phase of our growth, something that will be much easier with the new financing package in place.”

Ravi Sidhoo, managing director, Cynergy Bank private & business banking, noted, “Cynergy Bank is delighted to have concluded this transaction with Oakman Inns. We pride ourselves on working with our clients to understand their business needs and aspirations.

'With our local, skilled relationship managers, we quickly learn our client’s needs, we understand the market and, unlike mainstream lenders, can deliver certainty at speed.”

Cynergy Bank’s sector head Mark Dearman, director healthcare & leisure, added, “Oakman Inns are a leading independent pub company, operating to the highest standards and we are pleased to have developed a relationship with Steven, Peter and team to become the group’s largest banking lender.

'We look forward to developing the relationship further in the months and years to come.”