Business

Thursday 19 October 2017

€100m ISIF-backed joint venture bankrolls four office developments

A Quadrant company provided finance to Deirdre Foley
A Quadrant company provided finance to Deirdre Foley
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

A funding platform that's a joint venture between the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) and US-based Quadrant Real Estate has contributed to loan facilities totalling €238.4m used to bankroll the construction of four office developments here, according to accounts filed for the venture.

Qrea Financing said that the commitments have been made since June last year, with its share of the commitments totalling €54.1m.

In 2015, Quadrant and the State's ISIF teamed up to establish a €100m platform that would be used to finance the construction of Grade A office blocks.

Under the investment mandate agreed with the ISIF, Quadrant manages the provision of "senior stretch" loans, ideally suited to Grade A office development projects in strong markets which have planning permission but which may not yet have letting or sale agreements in place.

It was anticipated that the investment partnership would accelerate the delivery of urgently required prime office space, and, in turn, improve the attractiveness of Ireland for foreign direct investment (FDI).

Qrea Financing is thought to have to have provided the so-called stretch loans to companies including Targeted Investment Opportunities for office projects in Dublin, as well as U+I.

The latest set of accounts for Qrea Financing note that in addition to the €54.1m commitments made since last summer by the company, it also made drawdowns totalling €32.3m under a profit participation facility - the €50m facility provided by ISIF under the joint venture.

A separate Quadrant company - Qrea Ireland - provided finance to Natrium, the Deirdre Foley company used to controversially buy and shut department store Clerys in 2015. That was before Quadrant signed the partnership with ISIF. Qrea Ireland provided €17m to Natrium on the day Clerys was sold.

Last year, ISIF insisted that none of the €50m it has made available to Qrea Financing would be used to redevelop Clerys. A spokesman reiterated yesterday that no ISIF funding has been allocated to Clerys and none would be in the future.

Quadrant Real Estate Investment Advisors has about $8bn (€7.5bn) of commercial property assets under management and has provided about €450m in fixed-rate financing to projects in Ireland and the UK.

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