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Solicitor secures refinancing deal

Solicitor Brian O'Donnell, whose property investment company owes €886m, has secured a €126m refinancing of one of its office properties in London.

Vico Capital, the property investment company he established with his wife Dr Mary Pat O'Donnell, secured the new funding from US life-insurance giant MetLife and another unnamed partner in a deal arranged by Duet Private Equity through its mezzanine platform.

The property at 17 Columbus Courtyard in Canary Wharf is the European headquarters of Credit Suisse. Vico bought the property in 2005 for £125m (€147m).

It is one of three London commercial properties that Vico bought during a 16-month period over 2005/06 when it also acquired The Sanctuary Building for £170m.

Vico is embroiled in legal proceedings with Bank of Ireland, which wants the company to pay back €69.5m of debt it claims it is owed on the group's Irish assets.

Vico has alleged that BoI is pressuring holding company Redicent to sell Sanctuary Buildings, in London. In 2005, Vico also acquired 15 Westferry Circus for £140m.

Irish Independent