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Wednesday 24 May 2017

Facebook on the move as it starts big recruitment drive

Pat Rabbitte awards an internet training certificate to Anne O'Broin, from Maynooth, Co Kildare. Photo: SUSAN JEFFERIES
Pat Rabbitte awards an internet training certificate to Anne O'Broin, from Maynooth, Co Kildare. Photo: SUSAN JEFFERIES

Peter Flanagan and Neil Callanan

FACEBOOK is planning to double the size of its Dublin offices this year as the company expands its international operations ahead of a "significant" recruitment drive.

The social networking company is investigating plans to move and lease as much as 11,150sqm of office space in Dublin and is expected to make a decision on where to relocate before the end of the year.

While there is no official timeframe on the move, the firm's current offices at Hanover Quay in Dublin are at capacity already, with some 400 employees. The building in use at the moment is around 5,000sqm.

The company is advertising for some 60 positions in its Dublin offices and a "significant" recruitment drive is expected to continue through 2012.

A spokesman for the company declined to comment on the plans last night.

Among the options being considered are said to be the former Bank of Ireland headquarters on Baggot Street and two office blocks in south docklands close to Facebook's existing location.

The deadline for building owners to pitch proposals for the new space was January 13.

The company is understood to be extremely satisfied with the performance of the Dublin office and now will have the pick of prime real estate in a depressed Dublin market. Office rental prices have plummeted by close to 50pc from a high of €55 a square foot, according to Jones Lang LaSalle.

Facebook's expansion follows Google, which paid a shade under €100m for the Montevetro building in Dublin's Grand Canal Dock area, doubling its own office capacity, last year. It also purchased the building it currently occupies.

Both companies make up part of a "Silicon Village" of major tech companies who have set up shop in the Grand Canal Dock area of the city.

LinkedIn, which itself floated on the New Stock Exchange amid huge publicity last year, employs close to 100 people nearby while Twitter is slated to open an international office in the region as well.

The European HQ here is arguably the most important international office for Facebook, as all of its business outside the US and Canada flows through the Dublin company.

Last month, Facebook agreed to make a number of changes to how it handles user data affecting millions of users worldwide after an investigation by the Data Protection Commission here.

The company -- owned by Mark Zuckerburg -- is widely expected to go public later this year with up to $10bn (€7.7bn) shares becoming available. A flotation of that scale would value the company at around $100bn (€77bn).

Irish Independent

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