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€50m deal for prime capital shopping centre

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Countries with the highest costs are those with a higher minimum wage

A LIFE assurance company has taken full control of a south Dublin shopping centre in a deal believed to be worth €50m.

Friend's First have bought the two-thirds of Blackrock Shopping Centre they did not own, putting them in charge of one of the best known centres in the city. The firm had owned 33pc of the centre through one of its investment funds. Now it has agreed terms to buy the remainder of the business from Musgrave Operating Partners Ireland in an off market transaction.

Terms of the deal were not released but it is thought to have been worth about €50m.

Friend's First investment division head Eugene Gibney was jubilant at the deal.

"We are delighted and we plan to further invest in the centre to drive footfall at this prime location.

"The Irish commercial property market has become increasingly competitive in recent months, with a large pool of local and international investors chasing a limited supply of prime retail assets, so this opportunity delivers real value for our investors."

The Blackrock Shopping Centre, which includes adjacent offices, produces rental income of more than €5m a year. The deal represents a yield, or annual return, of 9.3pc. That rate is in line with the wider retail market at present

Musgrave Operating Partners Ireland is the anchor tenant in the centre through its former Superquinn supermarket on site.

The deal does not affect the tenants already located in the centre. The tenants at the offices, which are mostly let by Zurich insurance, will not be effected either.

Friend's First is known to be actively looking at other deals.

Irish Independent