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Sunday 31 August 2014

Billionaire investor Wilbur Ross in new Irish property deal with Cardinal Capital

Donal O'Donovan

Published 11/06/2014 | 14:43

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US billionaire Wilbur Ross at the Bank of Ireland AGM. Picture: Mark Condren

Wilbur Ross has signed a new Irish investment deal with financiers Cardinal Capital Group.

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The US billionaire’s firm and Irish investment house Cardinal have signed a joint venture which aims to raise €400m for property investments.

The new fund will be open to new investors as well as those who backed Wilbur Ross previously on deals including his successful Bank of Ireland play.

It will make so called “mezzanine finance” investments in commercial and residential property schemes here.

Mezzanine finance is a relatively risky form of investments that bridges the gap between loans and pure equity – a mezzanine provider typical charges interest but unlike traditional lenders is well back in the queue to be repaid if a deal fails.

Cardinal Capital Group was set up by finance veterans Nick Corcoran and Nigel McDermott to invest in mainly financial assets. The firm was involved in putting together the €1.1bn 2011 deal when Wilbur Ross first invested in Bank of Ireland, and missed out in bid to buy EBS, which was later nationalised and folded into AIB. 

Mr Corcoran was previously founder of Zurich Capital Markets (ZCM), one of the world’s leading hedge fund asset managers, while Nigel McDermott is a previous sirector of International Investment & Underwriting (IIU) and stockbrokers NCB.

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