Paceville boss Hugo Chetcuti’s €5 million bond gets stock market approval

Hugo Chetcuti, owner of a string establishments in Paceville since the 1990s, is today the main driver of the HH Group, which plans to expand further into hospitality

Paceville entrepreneur Hugo Chetcuti had his €5 million bond issue recently approved by the MFSA and admitted to the Stock Exchange: he literally owns a chunk of Paceville real estate with various bars, clubs, restaurants and now a hotel spanning the entire Santa Rita quarter
Paceville entrepreneur Hugo Chetcuti had his €5 million bond issue recently approved by the MFSA and admitted to the Stock Exchange: he literally owns a chunk of Paceville real estate with various bars, clubs, restaurants and now a hotel spanning the entire Santa Rita quarter

Paceville entrepreneur Hugo Chetcuti has embarked on a €5 million bond issue to finance his latest addition to his business empire.

The market for small capital bond issues has encouraged a new host of players to seek credit from new sources, and the undisputed ‘king’ of hospitality and entertainment is one of the first to capitalise on it.

Chetcuti has owned a string of establishments in Paceville since the 1990s, and is today the main driver of the HH Group, which plans to expand further into hospitality.

He has roped in the former Bank of Valletta chief executive officer Tonio Depasquale as well as former MIDI CEO Ben Muscat as independent directors of his finance group.

Chetcuti set foot in Paceville three decades ago with his initial acquisition of the Footloose bar, and since then founded a success of lucrative bars, clubs and restaurants billed with his ‘Hugo’s’ brand.

His recent acquisition of the former Bernard Hotel, now a 200-room hotel in the St George’s Bay area of Paceville marks Chetcuti’s coming-of-age in the hospitality industry.

Chetcuti plans to use the €5 million bond proceeds to part-finance the debt accumulated from the acquisition of the hotel, acquired for €35 million but now valued at €55 million. The bonds come with a 5% coupon.

Chetcuti is the owner of 26 different companies, most of them dealing with the entertainment industry.

Hugo’s Hotel Ltd, which owns the hotel, is currently defendant to two civil suits, both in the Court of Appeals, instituted by Olive Gardens Investments. The civil courts have already ruled in favour of the defendants.

The outcome of the case carries material consequence on the ownership of part of the hotel’s airspace over a disputed area of 700sq.m of property acquired from the company Marcus Development.

The cases are appeals on the 2017 judgements where Olive Gardens Investments claimed that Marcus Development’s sale of the land in 2013 was fraudulent because it had entered into an earlier promise-of-sale agreement back in 2004.

Marcus Development insisted it had no outstanding obligations towards Olive Gardens Investments, and that the 2004 promise-of-sale agreement was expired.

The court found in favour of the defendant on the basis that the promise-of-sale agreement was no longer valid.

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