OakNorth Bank has completed a £50m loan to the Arora Group, the private group of property and hospitality companies founded in 1999 by prominent British Indian businessman, Surinder Arora.
The Arora Group is made up of three parts: Arora Hotels, Grove Developments and Arora Property, and has a portfolio of 30 properties across the UK, including over a dozen hotels, as well as residential and commercial office units. Arora Hotels owns and operates a mix of independent and franchised properties, including: the InterContinental London ‒ The O2, the Sofitel London Heathrow and Fairmont Windsor Park.
Surinder Arora, Founder and Chairman of Arora Group, commented: “COVID-19 has inevitably presented numerous challenges for our sector, but as we found during the 2008 financial crisis, unique opportunities arise in times of economic turmoil. This loan from OakNorth Bank provides us with the liquidity to take advantage of these opportunities and focus on playing for the upside, when many others will be distracted trying to protect the downside.”
Steve Pateman, Vice Chairman of Arora Group’s Advisory Board, continued: “I spent three decades working for traditional high-street banks – RBS, Santander and Shawbrook – so I can genuinely say OakNorth is a bank that’s doing things differently and challenging the status quo. I was impressed by the speed and transparency that the team operates, as well as their commercial acumen.”
Ben Barbanel, Head of Debt Finance and Mohith Sondhi, Senior Debt Finance Director at OakNorth Bank, said: “The Arora Group is one of the UK’s fastest growing and most successful privately-owned companies, so it’s fair to say it has the pick of the litter when it comes to debt financing. The 20-year track record of the Group speaks for itself and despite the challenges COVID-19 is presenting to the sector, Arora Group is still being able to identify interesting opportunities to grow its portfolio. We’re glad to have been able to support the Group and look forward to continuing to build on the relationship.”