Funding activities

Eastdil to advise Johnny Ronan and Oaktree on glass bottle site

Developer Johnny Ronan and US investment firm Oaktree have engaged property investment bank Eastdil Secured to advise on debt financing options for the development of the Irish Glass Bottle site and adjoining land in Dublin, according to reports. sources.

Mr Ronan and Oaktree’s Ronan Group Real Estate (RGRE) pledged before Christmas to pay €200m to buy an 80% stake in the company owning the 37-acre Nama site.

Long a symbol of the pride of the Celtic tiger, the largest vacant lot in the capital is expected to deliver up to 3,800 homes, 25% of which are for social and affordable housing, as well as 1 million square feet (92,903 m² ) of Commercial space. There are also plans for a school and public open spaces.

UK property news website React News first reported this week that Eastdil had been engaged to advise on debt financing for the project, which has an estimated gross development value of over £3.5bn. euros. The initial aim is to raise more than 100 million euros for the early works, sources have confirmed.

‘Catalyst’

“This site can be a catalyst for the future development of Dublin. We look forward to unlocking its potential and, in particular, delivering thousands of residential units – private and social – to meet the city’s urgent need,” said a spokesperson for RGRE, who declined to comment. comment on financing plans.

Asking prices for homes jumped 6% in the Republic last year, property website MyHome.ie, which is owned by publisher The Irish Times, said last week in a report which warned that ” too much money chasing too few houses”.

Experts expected property values ​​to decline in 2020 in the face of mass unemployment and a pandemic-induced disruption to economic activity. However, the market defied expectations, with asking prices strengthening.

Lioncor, a property development company jointly owned by Dublin-based Oaktree and Alanis Capital, will play a key role in delivering housing to the site, in which Nama will retain a 20% stake.

RGRE and another US investment firm, Colony, were selected by Nama in late July as preferred bidders for a majority stake in the land and given 30 days to complete. However, The Irish Times reported in October, well after the original deadline for completion had expired, that RGRE had changed partners to partner with Oaktree.

Interrogates

Industry watchers questioned Colony’s initial involvement in the bid, as it was known at the time to be looking to sell other Irish holdings, including joint venture projects with RGRE.

Nama had receivers appointed to two separate parts of the 37-acre site between 2011 and 2012 as the respective owners ran into financial difficulties.

A company called Becbay, backed by developer Bernard McNamara, property financier Derek Quinlan and state agency Dublin Docklands Development Authority, owned the 25-acre glass land at the time. Becbay acquired the stake in 2006 for €412 million in a deal backed by Anglo Irish Bank.

A company linked to boom-era developer Liam Carroll owned the remaining 12 acres.