Sunday 21 January 2018

Google eyes potential acquisition of the Treasury Building for €125m

Google is said to have held talks with the building’s owners
Google is said to have held talks with the building’s owners

Ronald Quinlan Commercial Property Editor

Google has held informal talks with the owners of the Treasury Building on Dublin's Grand Canal Street with a view to making a formal offer for the property, the Irish Independent can reveal.

Sources familiar with the detail of the talks, which are understood to have taken place over the last two months, said the web giant was prepared to pay up to €125m to buy the building, which currently serves as the headquarters of the NTMA and a number of its subsidiaries, including Nama.

While agents CBRE are already handling the sale of a 33.33pc stake in the Treasury Building on behalf of Percy Nominees, it is understood Google has expressed its interest in buying the property in its entirety for up to €25m more than its overall estimated valuation of €100m.

Percy Nominees bought its one-third-stake in the building when it was redeveloped in 1989 by Ambiorix, a company controlled by developer Johnny Ronan; Paddy McKillen's son, Paddy Jr; and Mr McKillen's co-director, Liam Cunningham.

Mr Ronan and Mr McKillen's company continues to retain a 66.67pc interest in the Treasury Building and its overall rent roll of €5.482m per annum.

A spokeswoman for Google declined to comment when asked to confirm the detail of the company's recent discussions with the building's owners.

Mr Ronan was unavailable for comment.

Google's possible interest in acquiring the Treasury Building should serve to reassure the Government as it seeks to gauge the so-called "Trump effect" on future direct investment from the US into Ireland.

The news comes just weeks after it was reported that Google plans to add 400 employees to its 6,100-strong Dublin workforce, and is in talks to rent the newly-constructed Velasco building on Grand Canal Street.

Located opposite the Treasury Building, the 51,000 sq ft Velasco is within walking distance of Google's European headquarters on Barrow Street.

Google's preference for owning its own premises was evidenced by its acquisition of its Barrow Street offices and the nearby Montevetro building for €100m and €99m respectively in 2011.

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