Omni Capital funds world class cricket venue redevelopment

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The Ageas Bowl in Southampton – home to Hampshire County Cricket Club and host to international Test cricket – is set to complete a major redevelopment of the site to include a new landmark Hilton Hotel following the provision of multi-million pound construction finance from Omni Capital.

The construction finance facility is to fund 100% of the costs associated with the £27.4 million project over 12 months. It is the first deal generated by Omni Capital’s new Structured Finance division, which launched last month, led by the former managing director of Eurohypo, Dan Smith.

The funding from Omni Capital will enable the completion of a new 175-room Hilton Hotel on-site with spectacular pitch-facing rooms, branded restaurant, a luxury spa, conference and hospitality facility, 18-hole golf course and state-of-the-art media centre.

The regeneration project will transform the 25,000-seater Ageas Bowl into a prestigious world-class ‘model’ cricket ground, encouraging regular top level international cricket to the region and supporting the local economy through job creation, increased tourism levels and significant new rental income.

Dan Smith, head of Omni Capital Structured Finance, said:

“This was a complex structured loan perfectly suited to Omni Capital and we were able to use our expertise to underwrite the development and provide the flexibility to allow the project to continue. The Ageas Bowl represents the future of international cricket in the UK, and the project will have an overwhelmingly positive impact on the local community.”

“This latest loan is a further demonstration of Omni Capital’s expansion through the provision of construction finance, secured by a regionally-based hotel.”

The project – a collaboration between RB Sport & Leisure Holdings PLC and Eastleigh Borough Council – fell into financial difficulty in September 2013 when former contractor Denizen went into administration. Omni Capital’s loan has enabled the project to restart with Powells Group appointed as the new contractor.

David Mann of The Ageas Bowl commented:

“Omni Capital fully understood the complexities of the project and our financing requirements. They reacted quickly and enabled us to put the financing in place to keep the project on track. The new state-of-the-art media centre will now be completed ahead of the forthcoming England v India Test Series on 27th July 2014 and the overall project will complete in spring 2015.”

Omni Capital Structured Finance offers residential and commercial loans from £5 million to £250 million to experienced real estate professionals looking to access substantial funding for property investment and development purposes.