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Investors here left nursing big losses after London sale

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The Woolgate Exchange office block in London has been sold for £265m. Investors included the former Anglo Irish Bank which funded a syndicate, including former Anglo chairman Sean FitzPatick and former AIB chairman Dermot Gleeson. The total loss on the sale is likely to run to €72m

The Woolgate Exchange office block in London has been sold for £265m. Investors included the former Anglo Irish Bank which funded a syndicate, including former Anglo chairman Sean FitzPatick and former AIB chairman Dermot Gleeson. The total loss on the sale is likely to run to €72m

The Woolgate Exchange office block in London has been sold for £265m. Investors included the former Anglo Irish Bank which funded a syndicate, including former Anglo chairman Sean FitzPatick and former AIB chairman Dermot Gleeson. The total loss on the sale is likely to run to €72m

Wealthy and once wealthy Irish investors, including the bankrupt estate of former Anglo Irish Bank chief executive Sean FitzPatrick, have been left nursing losses following a sale of the Woolgate Exchange offices in London.



It had been owned by the Irish property syndicate since 2006.

The syndicate included Mr FitzPatrick, one-time attorney general and AIB chairman Dermot Gleeson and businessman Feargal Quinn.

The prestigious office building in the City of London was sold for £265m (€316m) by receivers to a Canadian investor yesterday, after long-running efforts to secure a buyer.

The property has been in the headlines here in recent months because of confusion for the judge and officials overseeing Mr FitzPatrick's bankruptcy regarding the value of his stake in the property.

Mr FitzPatrick is due to be cross-examined in the High Court on the matter later this year.

There is no question of information being withheld by Mr FitzPatrick. Instead, the confusion relates to the difficulty for officials of valuing a share in a building that has been in receivership, and where efforts by agents for its lenders to sell the building led to a number of false starts.

Yesterday's sale for less than the amount of loans secured on the property means that confusion is at an end. That's because it will finally crystallise losses for the syndicate of well-heeled Irish investors who bought the Woolgate for £325m (€386m) in 2006, with loans from Anglo Irish Bank.

Wealthy

The state-owned successor to Anglo, Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC), is understood to have made a partial recovery on its loans.

Credit Suisse, as the more senior ranked lender, is to be paid back in full. Ordinary investors fared less well.

Woolgate Exchange was bought by clients of Irish investment manager D2 Private back in 2006.

The buyers included clients of Anglo Irish Bank Assurance, a unit that advised wealthy customers on investments.

The syndicate put up around €72m to secure the deal and borrowed the balance.

The sale ends any hope of making a recovery on the €72m equity stake.

Irish Independent