Fine Grain to pay €50m to acquire business campus
Fine Grain Property, the Irish-owned business park operator and investor, is buying the 40-acre Westpark business campus in Shannon, Co Clare, from Westpark Shannon Ltd for more than €50m.
Established in 2005, the campus is home to some 50 companies and 2,000 employees and has planning permission for a further 300,000 sq ft of offices.
The deal includes two existing buildings of 100,000 sq ft each which are fully occupied and one of these has a restaurant and business centre which serves the entire park.
Westpark Shannon Ltd is headed by Brian and Bridget O’Connell. Fine Grain is headed by Colin MacDonald, who said: “The acquisition adds to our existing portfolio of 200,000 sq ft of office space across four buildings in the National Technology Park in Plassey, Limerick.”
Three of these comprising a total of 150,000 sq ft are 100pc occupied. The fourth, Hawthorn House, is completing in new two weeks.
The Westpark deal brings to €175m the total investment by Fine Grain Property (FGP) over the past three years to acquire 15 properties in Galway, Athlone, Limerick, Dublin and Cork.
In Westpark full planning permission is in place for three further buildings of 100,000 sq ft each and FGP has funding in place to begin construction when it sees demand.
In Galway and Limerick, FGP completed 50,000 sq ft high-spec office blocks in less than 12 months and would be able to move similarly as fast in Westpark.
The campus has sites for four buildings on eight acres of serviced land including the three with planning.
FGP anticipates that the fourth site would be of a similar size if developed subject to permission.
A spokesperson said that Westpark’s office rents are higher than the average of €215 per sq m currently pertaining for existing stock in Limerick.
Ulster Bank provided debt financing to Fine Grain Property to part finance the acquisition.
A spokesman said that the company has demonstrated that it has both the funding and the skills, working closely with IDA Ireland, to deliver tailored workplace solutions to its clients as they expand and grow.
The Westpark deal does not include the office building which is owned and occupied by Axa insurance.
One of the biggest Irish business park deals to date, it adds global names in aircraft leasing, financial services, and logistics, such as GECAS, Aercap, Arista, Enterprise Ireland, Pepper, and DHL, to FGP’s client list, which already includes corporates such as Ericsson, Northern Trust, Aviva, Xperi, QAD, and Cook Medical.