Monday 20 October 2014

IPUT joins commercial property buying frenzy

Published 29/08/2014 | 02:30

Karen Millen

Irish property investment firm IPUT has becime the latest fund to close a major property deal with a €115m acquisition of buildings in Dublin.

IPUT plc acquired the portfolio of 13 commercial property assets from the Bank of Ireland Staff Pension Fund for €115m in cash.

Dubbed the 'Salix' portfolio it is made up of "institutional-grade" investment properties with a combined 70,000 square metres of space.

The rent roll is €8.4m a year.

The properties include a one third interest the IDA Headquarters in Dublin; 6/7 St Stephens Green - home to Topshop; 72 Grafton Street, which is a Karen Millen store, and a mix of industrial and retail properties.

IPUT is the longest established property fund in Ireland and manages a €1bn debt-free portfolio. Its backers include institutional investors and pension funds.

"IPUT has an established record in assisting larger institutional investors consolidate their investment in property as an asset class. Today's announcement follows on from previous IPUT acquisitions of the property assets of other leading institutional investors such as the ESB, Diageo and Irish Airline Staff Pension Funds, which amounted to portfolio acquisitions of close to €200m," Niall Gaffney, chief executive of IPUT, said.

JLL advised the Bank of Ireland Staff Pension Fund on the transaction.

Meanwhile, Hibernia Reit has hired builders JJ Rhatigan (JJR) to finish out the 213 part-completed apartments it owns at Wyckham Point, Dundrum, Co Dublin. The work is expected to cost €25m.

Construction

Around 1 60 construction workers will be involved in the project to finish out the properties.

JJR will commence on site immediately, Hibernia said.

The first apartments from the scheme are expected to be available to rent by the middle of next year.

The Dundrum appartments were part of Hibernia's first acquisition back in February, shortly after the firm listed on the Dublin Stock Exchange.

It paid €67m to Ulster Bank for a portfolio of loans linked to 280 Dublin apartments, including the 231 at Wyckham Point, as well as others on Herbert Road in Ballsbridge and in Phibsboro, Clanbrassil Street, and Dun Laoghaire.

That deal also included around 30,000 square feet of commercial property and development sites in south Dublin and Kildare.

Yesterday Hibernia Reit seperatley confirmed that it remains in exclusive discussions to acquire Cumberland House, a former Eircom office block on Fenian Street, close to Merrion Square in Dublin city centre.

Pending that deal being done the firm has agreed to provide the owners of Cumberland House with a short term loan of €38m.

The loan is fully secured on property and has an interest rate of 6pc per annum.

The seven-storey building is made up of three interconnecting blocks.

On Tuesday Hibernia exchanged contracts to buy a 0.75 acre freehold development site at 1-6 Sir John Rogerson's Quay, Dublin 2, for €17.75m .

Irish Independent

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