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Sunday 11 December 2016

Quinlan looks to break even on £1bn Citi HQ

Emmet Oliver

Published 12/04/2011 | 05:00

Developer Derek Quinlan is seeking to at least break even on the biggest property purchase undertaken by an Irish investor at the height of the boom -- the £1bn (€1.13bn) purchase of Citi's HQ in Canary Wharf, London.

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Estate agents Jones Lang LaSalle has been hired to sell the property, with Mr Quinlan and his co-investor seeking offers over £1bn, just above the price paid in July 2007.

While Mr Quinlan is unlikely to realise a huge gain on the purchase, the two investors, Mr Quinlan and UK investor Glen Maud, are hoping to use the money to repay loans they took out to seal the high-profile deal. The property is at 25 Canada Square and is occupied on a long-term lease by Citi, for its European and Middle East HQ.

The building is the third tallest building in the UK and is visible across the London skyline. At present it provides rental income of £57.6m a year.

The agents said yesterday that purchasers could expect "the annual income return on the initial investment to reach nearly £70m within 10 years''.

Jones Lang added it expected investor interest in the sale of the office building to come from all corners of the globe, including real-estate trusts, pensions and annuity funds.

Rents in Canary Wharf are lower than the City of London, the capital's main financial district, making office properties less attractive to investors.

Mr Quinlan led the original consortium which bought the building from RBS. Unfortunately for Mr Quinlan, the purchase was sealed on the brink of the financial crisis.

The purchase was the biggest undertaken by the developer, who became prominent in UK financial circles after buying the Savoy Hotel Group in 2004.

Irish Independent

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