Tuesday 17 July 2018

Blackstone believed to have bagged Blanchardstown Centre in deal worth nearly €1bn

Blanchardstown centre
Blanchardstown centre

Peter Flanagan, Commercial Property Editor

BLACKSTONE is believed to have won the race for the Blanchardstown Centre in a deal worth nearly €1bn.

The US investment giant is understood to have beaten off the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board for the centre - which was put up for sale in February. The firm has been named “preferred bidder” which puts it in the box seat to buy the centre from Green Property. It will now negotiate exclusively with Green. Blackstone is believed to have offered €920m for the centre.

Blackstone - the world’s biggest property investor - has bought extensively in Ireland since the crash but has been selling down most of its interests. It has flipped a number of office blocks in central Dublin and has also in the process of selling the former Burlington HOtel in the city. It also controls the Elysian Tower in Cork city.

Blanchardstown CEntre was being sold by Stephen Vernon’s Green Property. It is the biggest retail centre in the country, with more than 1.2 million sq ft of shopping space.

The centre has an annual footfall of more than 16 million people and a rent roll of approximately €50m per year.

The existing development and lands covers 85 acres with up to 6,000 surface car parking spaces.

There is the capacity for development in the region of 148,500 sq m (1.6 million sq ft) comprising 93,000 sq.m of retail, offices, leisure and 600 plus apartments, under a master development plan that governs the site.

News of Blackstone being named preferred bidder was first reported by industry journal Estates Gazette.

As well as CPPIB, Blackstone has seen off the challenge from Joe O’Reilly’s CHartered Land, which has made a bid backed by US bank Morgan Stanley.

Mr O’Reilly’s firm controls the Dundrum Town Centre but is expected to lose control of it later this year. UK property firm Hammerson and Germany’s Allianz Real Estate bought the loans tied to Dundrum last year. Hammerson has said previously it expects to take control of Dundrum by the summer.

Blackstone’s deal for Blanchardstown means that by the end of the year, three of the biggest shopping centres in the country will be controlled by overseas funds. As well as Dundrum, US investor HInes has taken a majority stake in LIffey Valley Centre in Dublin along with private clients of international banking giant HSBC.

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