Commercial Property

Saturday 2 August 2014

NAMA developer among investors in IFSC deal

Peter Flanagan

Published 17/07/2014|02:30

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Hibernia REIT paid €90.75m for Guild House and Commerzbank House
Hibernia REIT paid €90.75m for Guild House and Commerzbank House

ONE of NAMA’s biggest developers and a host of top names in property and the wider business world are part of a consortium that sold an IFSC office block for nearly €100m.

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Hibernia REIT agreed terms to buy Guild House and Commerzbank House in the IFSC for €90.75m on Tuesday. It was Hibernia’s biggest deal to date and adds to their portfolio in the Dublin’s International Financial Services Centre after it bought the nearby office buildings New Century House earlier this year.

Hibernia bought the latest property from a syndicate of unnamed individuals.

The Irish Independent however has learned that the syndicate, which was assembled by low profile investment firm Warren Private, includes a host of well known names in Irish commerce.

The Warren consortium paid a reported €102m for the buildings in 2002.

NAMA Top 10 developer Gerry Barrett was an investor through his company Radical Properties. The Galway developer is a former teacher who started in the property sector in the early 1980s, buying properties in Galway city.

His firm, Edward Holdings, built the Edward Square development in Donnybrook, Dublin, and bought the former student residence, Hatch Hall, in 2004 for over €16m. His deals also included Ashford Castle for €50m in 2008.

Byblos Limited, a company tied to Westmeath-based developers Christopher and John Bennett is also part of the syndicate.

Best known for Bennett Construction, the developers have worked on numerous high profile projects in Ireland and Europe, including the CHQ Building in the IFSC and the Burlington Plaza offices in Dublin 4. The firm has just completed the “Google Link” bridge connecting Google’s office blocks in Dublin’s Docklands.

Dawn Meat’s Peter Queally invested in the syndicate as an individual. Mr Queally is one of the country’s richest men along with his brother John. John is not listed as investor in the Warren scheme.

MKN Properties’ Sean McKeon is another high profile member of the syndicate. MKN are responsible for a host of developments around Dublin, mostly on Dublin’s northside. Among its projects have been the award 150 Howth Road apartments in Clontarf as well as Herbert Park Lane in Dublin 4.

Michael O’Reilly ran Windsor Motors before selling the brand in 1999.

He invested in the deal and is now a director of Merlin motor group.

Other investors include Naas developer Terry McGoff, as well as investors Cyril Mulligan and Tom Quinn.

Mr Mulligan and Mr Quinn sold the Arlington Hotel on Dublin’s quays for a reported €30m in 2005.

Pat Ryan and David Colgan also put money into the deal. The men along with another group of investors sued Ulster Bank and First Active last year over alleged mis-selling of debt swaps tied to a separate property deal.

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