Business Irish

Saturday 25 November 2017

Ryanair co-founder gets €100m backing for Polish office plan

Ryan inked deal for ambitious Warsaw build

Pole Position: The commercial sector in Warsaw has attracted a large number of high-profile Irish investors.
Pole Position: The commercial sector in Warsaw has attracted a large number of high-profile Irish investors.
Nick Webb

Nick Webb

Ryanair co-founder Declan Ryan has secured almost €100m in financing for an ambitious office construction scheme in the Polish capital Warsaw.

Ryanair's DFR Nominees has just inked a funding deal with Bank Hipoteczny, a specialist property finance bank, for €47m in construction loans, €47m worth of investment loans and nearly €3m in VAT-related loans.

Ryan is behind the Riverside Park Business park in Central Warsaw, which features two six-storey office blocks. The Polish commercial and office sector attracted large number of high profile Irish investors in recent years, ranging from Jurys Doyle heir Eileen Monahan to Kingspan co-founder Brendan Murtagh.

Poland suffers from a shortage of high quality and central office space, although the local markets have been hit by falling prices.

The low-profile Ryan, thought to be Ireland's most generous philanthropist, has made his fortune from low- cost airlines loosely modelled on Ryanair. He does, however, have some property exposure in Ireland, owning a commercial office block on Dublin's Fenian Street. He is also thought to have property assets in central Europe.

Ryan's family investment company Irelandia owns a 46 per cent stake in Mexico's Vivaaerobus, which pulled a planned €300m IPO earlier this year. It is likely to return to the markets later in the year subject to calmer trading conditions. He is also an investor in VivaColombia, a low-cost carrier growing rapidly in Latin America.

Ryan made huge profits from his investments in US start-up airline Allegiant, which floated on US markets in 2007. He made a six-fold return on his initial stake in just two years. Ryan was also an early stage backer of Tiger Airways in Singapore, which also listed on local stockmarkets, with an exit crystallising a near 28-fold return on his initial funding..

Ryan's DFR Nominees was one of the beneficiaries of the €3m buyout of premiership rugby club London Irish earlier this year. He is also an investor of Merrion Pharmaceuticals as well as backing the Growcorp biotech focussed venture capital group.

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