Tuesday 17 October 2017

Oaktree in bid to raise €550m from builder IPO

Glenveagh Properties new COO Stephen Garvey and CEO Justin Bickle, the MD of Oaktree. The new company will float on the Dublin and London stock markets next Tuesday
Glenveagh Properties new COO Stephen Garvey and CEO Justin Bickle, the MD of Oaktree. The new company will float on the Dublin and London stock markets next Tuesday
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

Distressed debt investor Oaktree has pulled the trigger on the second-biggest Irish IPO since the crash in a deal aimed at raising money to fund housebuilding.

The listing of housebuilder Glenveagh Properties will raise €550m on the Dublin and London stock markets next Tuesday.

Glenveagh is a combination of US distressed debt investor Oaktree's Irish development assets, bought up after the crash, with the operating capacity of Maynooth-based housebuilder Bridgedale - which will be bought with proceeds from the market listing.

The firm said it has "shovel-ready" projects that could deliver 1700 residential units. It will build 1,000 units by 2020, and plans to deliver 2,000 units a year once it is in full swing.

The proposed fund raising is the biggest Irish IPO since the part privatisation of AIB in June.

Glenveagh is the second Irish housebuilder to float since the crash, following Cairn Homes' IPO in 2015. Cairn's share price has almost doubled since then as the value of its portfolio grew sharply.

Oaktree managing director Justin Bickle will lead Glenveagh as CEO, with Bridgedale's Stephen Garvey as chief operating officer and property veteran and former Nama executive John Mulcahy as executive chairman. All three will serve on the board of directors.

Glenveagh will focus on building in Dublin and the commuter belt, where Bridgedale is already active, and has committed one-third of the IPO proceeds to 27 sites it has agreed to buy.

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The company plans to develop houses and apartments in its own right for sale to homebuyers, with a Glenveagh Living division that will contract build for State agencies, local authorities, approved housing bodies and institutional investors involved in the private-rental market in Ireland - a new but growing market.

Oaktree has been active in Ireland since the crash, buying large-scale loan portfolios including Nama's massive 'Emerald' and 'Ruby' books that had a face value of €4.7bn for around €800m. In 2010 Oaktree failed in its initial efforts to acquire an Irish builder - when its €25m Examinership proposal to rescue McInerney Homes was rejected by banks.

Since then the firm has worked with Nama and Bennet Group building offices in central Dublin in particular.

Trading in Dublin and London is expected to begin on October 10. Credit Suisse and Ireland's Davy have been appointed as joint global coordinators. A heavyweight board includes UK property veterans Barbara Judge and Richard Cherry, ex KPMG partner Robert Dix, Richard Cherry and Caleb Kramer of Oaktree.

Irish Independent

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