The Daily Telegraph reports on the tortuous negotiations involved in documentating a £3.75 million loan:
“City Cruises, which has an £11m annual turnover and runs 15 boats on the Thames, wanted to order London’s first 600-seat vessel ahead of the Olympics. Mrs Beckwith told an audience at a British Bankers’ Association “Better Business Finance” roadshow that, while her existing funders, Lombard, came up with the best rate for the boat’s £3.75m price-tag, the overall cost of the deal was high and the contract negotiations tortuous.
“Both the upfront and lifetime costs are much higher,” said Mrs Beckwith. “And the loan agreement has been incredibly complex, more suitable to a supertanker than a passenger ship on the Thames. Negotiations took months, conducted through lawyers by email and telephone.
“The commercial, practical realities were impossible to agree and the lawyers’ fees enormous. We finally signed the loan agreement last month – halfway through the building programme, which started six months before.”
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