Sunday 26 February 2017

Three come on board Hickey vehicle

It's like the recession never happened as some of the masters of the Irish business universe join forces in a brash new property investment vehicle

GLEN Dimplex founder Martin Naughton, Paul Coulson of Ardagh Glass and businessman Peter Gleeson have joined a property investment vehicle controlled by developer Brendan Hickey that stands to receive €3.75m in dividends this year from lucrative French property investments.

Mr Hickey -- whose firm Davy Hickey Properties built the Citywest shopping centre -- and his fellow directors at DHP Ltd, stockbrokers Kyran McLaughlin, James Davy and Swiss-based former executive David Shubotham, saw the heavyweights come on board after what appears to be a complex restructuring move.

The details emerge after Anglo Irish earlier this month took control of a stake in DHP owned by Sean Mulryan's Ballymore Ireland Group.

This in turn comes after a number of private clients of Davy Stockbrokers, who had invested in Ballymore in 2007, expressed concerns in January that they may have to stump up more money for construction projects in eastern Europe on top of an initial injection of €200m. Whether the restructuring, the Anglo move and the Davy clients' concerns are connected remains unclear. What has emerged is that the dividends that DHP will receive are on the back of a stake it owns in listed French property firm Icade that is worth almost €40m at current prices.

In addition to a €3.25 per share dividend to be distributed at the end of April, Icade's board of directors will vote on whether to pay a special dividend of at least €4 per share at the end of this year.

By that time, the company says, it will have sold a €2bn portfolio of residential properties back to the French government on which it will see a return of about four per cent.

The Icade stake looks set to remain a handsomely profitable investment for DHP. The French company believes that commercial property prices are at the bottom of their cycle.

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FOR those with deep pockets and the desire for a stunning Georgian house, Hollywood House in Glenealy, Co Wicklow, is on the market for €5m. Down from the €9m sought in 2008, the house dates from 1760 and sits on 50 acres.

Approached via the all-important sweeping avenue lined with trees and rhododendrons, the property also comes with various staff or guest quarters, including a three-bed gate lodge, a single-storey cottage and a one-bed apartment.

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Sharp-eyed observers of the property market may have noticed that Apple Green, the petrol retail business founded by businessmen Bob Etchingham and Joe Barrett, is currently building a new outlet beside the N11 in Stillorgan on the outskirts of the capital.

A sign perhaps that the market has come full circle since the days of the boom when petrol companies were scrambling to sell their forecourts, many of which were then bought by developers and knocked down to make way for blocks of apartments or offices.

Sunday Independent

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