The Square expects to secure deal to refinance debts of close to €186m

By Maurice Garvey

THE SQUARE Shopping Centre’s strong tenant list and future development potential will help secure a deal with AIB to refinance debts of close to €186m, according to Oaktree Capital Management, the private equity owner of the centre.

Oaktree purchased The Square from Nama for €250m in 2018 through a Luxembourg company.

The Square 1 1

The Square Shopping Centre

According to The Sunday Times, the acquisition debt, borrowed entirely from AIB, is due to mature in the first quarter of next year.

Accounts for Indego, one of The Square’s operating companies, signed off in June, states the shopping centre owner OCM Luxembourg Square Retail is working closely with asset managers Sigma Retail Partners and lender AIB on “assumptions around future liquidity”.

It also states that the owner had secured capital repayment deferrals with AIB which enhanced the company’s liquidity position.

Its upbeat fourth quarter projection for 2020 took a hit during the second lockdown.

The company did secure planning permission for an extension to the shopping centre on July, which the accounts said would “significantly boost the long-term value of the investment property.”

The Square posted a turnover of €22m in 2019, from rental income, service charges, carpark management income and management fees.

This generated an operating profit before interest, tax and exceptional gains of €13m.

Takings will be down this year however, due to severe Covid-related restrictions on businesses and public spaces.

The centre and its development land were valued at €267m at the end of 2019.

There are 19 acres of car parking at the centre, offering scope for expansion.

The company was granted a 10,000 sq m extension including six new shop units and retail kiosks, and an existing permit to extend the northern side of the centre including a food hall, nine restaurants, bars and a public plaza.Both extensions would cost €100m to develop.

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