Saturday 7 December 2019

US firm moving to take over €1bn O’Flynn empire is ‘committed’ to jobs

Michael O'Flynn at The Elysian gardens, Cork city. Provision
Michael O'Flynn at The Elysian gardens, Cork city. Provision

Commercial Property Editor

THE US investment firm that moved to take control of Michael O’Flynn’s construction empire has said it is “committed” to supporting the business and preserving the company jobs.

In a statement, Blackstone claimed it remains “committed to supporting the business of the O’Flynn Group and, in particular, to preserving jobs through an investment program across the group’s real estate portfolio”.

Blackstone’s comments came a day after the US firm moved to put a number of companies tied to O’Flynn Construction Group into examinership and made clear a receiver may eventually be appointed.

Mr O’Flynn, who was behind some of the biggest developments in the state included the Elysian Tower in Cork, said he was left in “complete surprise and shock” by the move.

Blackstone paid NAMA €1.1bn in April to buy business and personal loans tied to Mr O'Flynn that had a face value of €1.8bn. At the time of the sale by NAMA it had been expected that the US investment giant would work with Mr O'Flynn to develop his business.

Blackstone is the biggest property firm in the world. It is best known in Ireland for buying the Burlington Hotel in Dublin in 2012 and snapping up the biggest stake in Eircom.

Talks between the two sides are thought to have been ongoing for some time but on Tuesday the firm moved to have an interim examiner appointed to O'Flynn Construction Group.

Mr O’Flynn is now conferring with his legal team on the matter.

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