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Centerbridge and Sean Dunne insider in €100m homes deal

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Sean Dunne. Photo: Collins

Sean Dunne. Photo: Collins

Sean Dunne. Photo: Collins

The former financial director at Sean Dunne's Mountbrook Homes, Aodan Bourke, has teamed up with US private equity giant Centerbridge Partners to build over 400 homes in Dublin in a near €100m development.

It's the first time that the private equity firm has become involved in the development of a major greenfield residential scheme in the country.

Mr Bourke is a co-founder of Dublin property firm Regency Estates. The other co-founder is Patricia Hinch, who worked with GE Capital for 15 years.

Centerbridge Partners controls investments totalling close to €23bn. It primarily focuses on acquiring companies out of bankruptcy proceedings or other restructuring processes.

The Sunday Independent understands that while New York-based Centerbridge is providing the bulk of the funds to develop the 68-acre site at Hollystown in north-west Dublin, another investment firm, Dublin-based Avestus Capital Partners, is also helping bankroll the project.

Avestus was founded by former Quinlan Private executives Olan Cremin, Peter Donnelly, Thomas Dowd and Mark O'Donnell.

Neither Centerbridge nor Regency would comment on their partnership or the development plan.

The site being used for the housing scheme was previously owned by a company in which high-profile boom-time developer Donal Caulfield was involved.

That company, Garbo Developments, had secured planning permission for over 331 homes on the site, but went into receivership in 2013.

A recent receiver's report for Garbo for the period of April to October last year indicates that the receiver secured receipts of €13.8m during those months.

It's understood that Regency Estates identified the site's development potential when it was put up for sale last year, and then approached Centerbridge with a view to securing capital to build on the land.

An Irish unit of Centerbridge, Gembira, now owns the site. Gembira is owned by another Irish firm, which is in turn owned by Luxembourg-based investment funds controlled by Centerbridge.

Regency plans to build 435 homes on the site at Hollystown, which adjoins the Hollystown Golf Course.

There will be 206 three-bedroom homes, 212 four-bedroom and a small number of five-bedroom homes. A creche is also planned.

Sunday Indo Business