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BOI to fund 15% of Gunner’s new stadium Back  
The ?260 million project financing deal for Arsenal Football Club’s new 60,000 seat Ashburton Grove stadium is expected to close by the end of the month. Royal Bank of Scotland is understood to be the lead arranger on the deal, joined by five other banks including Bank of Ireland.

According to David Shepherson, a project director at Bank of Ireland International Finance in the UK, BOI are funding approximately 15 per cent of the deal, which amounts to some ?39 million.

This is the second football stadium deal that BOI has been involved in, having previously participated at a lower level in the ?426.4 million financing of Wembley’s new stadium.

The size of BOI’s average participation in financing deals is between €30-40 million, says Shepherdson, so the Arsenal deal is one of its biggest.

BOI has also been involved in several PPP and PFI deals both in the UK and Europe, including the Barcelona Tram in Spain and Tubelines in the UK. However, while BOI is keen to get involved in the several Irish PPP deals that are under discussion at the moment, Shepherson says that the risk balance in the concession agreements are not to BOI’s liking, and they are a little bit concerned that it is weighted towards the public sector, particularly on the road side.

BOI’s project finance team is a division of Bank of Ireland International Finance, and employs 17 people in total - eight in Dublin and London, and one in New York. It was set up in 1996 and is engaged in arranging, underwriting and participating in project finance transactions in Ireland, the UK, Continental Europe and North America. It is currently managing a deal book of €1.5bn.

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