STATE-OWNED bank IBRC has recovered in full borrowings of £145m (€176m) used by a syndicate, including the former chairmen of Anglo Irish Bank and AIB, to buy a prestigious office block in London.
The sale of the building, called 1-19 Victoria Street, was completed earlier this week for £180.5m, repaying not only its borrowings but also returning, after costs, 75 per cent of investors' cash.
The building was 55 per cent Irish-owned by a syndicate of 25 Irish investors which, alongside Sean Fitz- Patrick and Dermot Gleeson, also included ex- Anglo Irish Bank employee Mark Redmond and Deirdre Foley, the co-founder of property investment firm D2. The other shareholder in the building is Stenham, a multibillionpound South African fund.
The deal is one of the biggest done by IBRC, formerly Anglo Irish Bank, in the past year. D2 had originally bought the building, which is rented to the British government, for £175m in 2007.
However, Irish real estate investment advisers Opportune combined with Stenham to take control of the building in the past 12 months on behalf of the majority of investors.
Opportune and Stenham then appointed CBRE to sell the building to the Mitsubishi Estate Company, Japan's second biggest property group which owns part of the iconic Rockefeller Center in midtown Manhattan, New York.
Opportune, which is led by Ruairi O'Neill, has offices in Dublin and Chicago where it provides private equity, realestate investment advisory and asset management services.
It is chaired by Robert Dix, a former KPMG partner, and includes as a non-executive director the American property expert Steve Fifield, who has developed more than $5bn worth of property in the United States.