Two London offices which were previously linked to firms whose directors manage investments for Ryanair chief Michael O’Leary were sold in 2015 and last year for a total of £57m (€66m).
HM Land Registry documents obtained by the Sunday Independent reveal that an office at No 100, Fetter Lane, in the City’s legal district surrounding Chancery Lane, was sold for £38.7m including Vat in January last year.
The property had previously been owned by Bradley Investments – a company of which accountant Pascal Keegan, who manages investments for Michael O’Leary, is a director.
The site of the property is now being redeveloped by its new owners, private-equity firm BauMont and its partner YardNine, with demolition having begun this January.
In place of the old office, where legal firm Beachcroft was a tenant until 2019, will be a 15-storey modern BREAAM ‘outstanding’-rated building, providing 93,500sqft of office space, complete with several green terraces and a roof garden.
The redevelopment will also incorporate a pub, The White Swan, that had occupied a corner of the site, according to architects Fletcher Priest. The White Swan was a popular watering hole for many journalists during the heyday of nearby Fleet Street.
Figures from consultants Rider Levett Bucknall suggest the redevelopment will cost at least £50m.
In 2012, O’Leary won a legal battle over a planned development that would have blocked light in the Fetter Lane office.
A second office that was previously owned by Bradley Investments, at No 50, Mark Lane in the City of London – close to the Tower of London – was sold for £19.5m in July 2015. Bradley Investments took out a loan on the Mark Lane property in August 2002, paying it off in July 2015, according to company filings.
It took out a loan on the Fetter Lane building in January 2003, paying it off in November 2016.
Rents in both areas of the City have risen by at least between 60pc and 70pc over the past 20 years, according to current rent figures, and data from consultants Tower Eight and property investor Derwent London, with potential sale values rising correspondingly.
The data suggests O’Leary’s firm may have collected as much as £20m in rent while it owned the properties.
The data also suggests the Mark Lane property may have risen £7m in value, and the Fetter Lane building about £13m.
A spokesman for Michael O’Leary declined to comment, as did Pascal Keegan.