Saturday 26 May 2018

Final bids in for €1bn retail giant

Blanchardstown Centre in Dublin is Ireland’s biggest retail centre
Blanchardstown Centre in Dublin is Ireland’s biggest retail centre
Peter Flanagan

Peter Flanagan

THE world's biggest property fund and a Canadian pensions giant are set to fight it out for the Blanchardstown Centre.

Blackstone Group will face off against the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board to take control of the centre in a deal which will be worth more than €1bn.

Joe O'Reilly's Chartered Land, which was being backed by Morgan Stanley, did not progress past the second round of bidding, which closed last Wednesday.

Blackstone has been one of the biggest buyers of commercial property in Ireland since the crash. It owns the former Burlington Hotel in Dublin and has bought and sold several office blocks around the city. It also controls the Elysian Tower in Cork City. Blackstone has turned a profit of millions of euro on its Irish investments.

CPPIB meanwhile manages the Canada Pension Plan - one of the main public pensions in that country. It has no property investments of note in Ireland but is well known for investing in shopping centres around Europe. It has a 25pc share in the Westfield Stratford City centre in London - the biggest urban shopping centre in Europe - and also has a stake in Germany's biggest shopping centre, the Centro in Oberhausen.

Blanchardstown 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. All parties declined to comment.

Irish Independent

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