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British Virgin Islands-based company buying up portfolio of premium Dublin properties

Dublin offices of Davy linked to complex network of international finance and property investment and development groups

* A British Virgin Islands company with capital of more than €300 million that has bought at least five valuable properties in Dublin in recent years is based in the offices of a group that helps high-net worth individuals (HNWIs) plan how to leave their wealth to succeeding generations.

A complex financing structure behind the acquisitions is linked to the Dublin financial services firm Davy, but a spokesman would not say if the firm was acting on behalf of one or more clients.

Public records show that British Virgin Islands (BVI) company DTIL Ltd received a capital contribution of €327 million in December 2021 and has access to a loan facility of up to €800 million.

Files in Tailte Éireann (formerly Land Registry) show the company bought 99 St Stephen’s Green a few doors down from the KPMG headquarters in November 2021; the Waterloo Exchange building, on the corner of Waterloo Road and Baggot Street Upper, in January 2022; 100 St Stephen’s Green in June 2022; and 97 St Stephen’s Green in September 2022.


The files also show that, in relation to Kilmore House, a modern office development behind the PwC HQ on the north quays, the freehold and leasehold interests in the building were transferred from Davy to DTIL Ltd last November.

Tailte Éireann records give Davy Real Estate, Dawson Street, Dublin, as an address for DTIL, but also the address of Icaza, Gonzalez-Ruiz & Aleman in the BVI. According to that firm’s website, it is the BVI’s “premier trust company, capable of assisting HNWIs and their families in the succession of their patrimonies for generations to come”.

The firm “strives to guide HNWIs and families to reach a well-structured corporate governance within their family businesses and an organised succession that contemplates fiscal efficiency and wealth preservation”. A request for a comment from the firm received no response.

DTIL is the also the owner of 105-106 Grafton Street, on the corner of Grafton Street and Suffolk Street, according to Dublin City Council planning files. A planning application in August 2021 was accompanied by a letter from Davy saying it was acting for the owner of the building, DTIL Ltd, and consented to the application.

DTIL is one of a number of BVI property investment companies that are part of the group that is linked to Davy and investing in Irish property. The group has a holding company in the BVI – Dever International Ltd – and includes financing and investment companies based in Lucan, Co Dublin, that all bank with HSBC Private Bank in Geneva, Switzerland. The Irish companies have provided loans of more than €600 million to group BVI property investment companies and have issued loan notes – a type of IOU – of the same amount to other companies in the BVI.

One of the Lucan investment companies is called DTIL Finance Unlimited Company. Incorporated in December 2021, its accounts for 2022 say it is a wholly owned subsidiary of Dever International Ltd and that its immediate parent is DTIL International Finance Unlimited Company, a group financing company also based in Avonlea Demesne.

On December 20th, 2021, the accounts say, the company entered an agreement with DTIL International Finance whereby it could draw down loans of up to €800 million “from time to time”. On the same day in 2021, the company drew down an interest-free loan of €327,205,608 from this facility and made a capital contribution of this amount to its subsidiary, DTIL Ltd.

The 2022 accounts of another Lucan-based Dever company, Dever Finance DAC, show that, on December 20th, 2021, it issued loan notes for €602,346,418 to two related companies, Halley Universal SA and Bayton Group Ltd. No address is given for these companies and it is not known if they are in the BVI.

On the same day the loan notes were issued, Dever Finance entered into a loan agreement with DTIL Finance Unlimited Company – the DTIL Ltd parent company – which then drew down €327,205,608, and another company in the group, DTDL Ltd, which drew down €275,140,810. The two loans total €602,346,418, the same total as the loan notes.

DTDL Ltd, the company that drew down €275,140,810, is behind a €100 million planning application submitted by Davy currently before An Bord Pleanála for the redevelopment of the St Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre.

Another of the Dever investment companies based in Lucan, DSPL Finance Unlimited Company, is linked to special housing development projects in counties Meath and Westmeath, public records show.

DSPL Finance’s accounts for 2022 show it entered into a loan agreement on December 20th, 2021, with its parent, Dever group finance company DSPL International Finance, whereby it could draw down money from a loan facility of up to €100 million.

On the same day the company drew down an interest-free loan of €36,230,896 from this facility, according to the accounts. It repaid €12.8 million of the loan the following year. On the same day in December 2021 that the €36,230,896 loan was issued, DSPL Finance made a capital contribution of the same amount to its BVI subsidiary, property investment company DSPL Ltd, according to the accounts.

Tailte Éireann files show that, in November 2021, DSPL Ltd was registered as the owner of apartments at Clare’s Court, Church Street, Cavan. It is also the owner of land at Balreask, Navan, Co Meath, and near Mullingar, Co Westmeath, according to the files.

Planning application files show that DSPL was behind successful special housing development planning applications to An Bord Pleanála in Duleek, Co Meath, and Rathgowan, Co Westmeath, in April and July 2022. It was also associated with a successful planning application in September 2021 in relation to part of the Cashel Town Centre in Co Tipperary.

The 2022 accounts for another Lucan company, Deverbis Finance DAC, show a link between the DSPL and Switzerland-resident Limerick billionaire JP McManus.

The accounts say that, on December 20th, 2021, Deverbis established a €100 million loan note facility and issued €36,230,896 in unsecured 5 per cent loan notes to a BVI company called Balmirex SA. This Deverbis loan note arrangement appears to be the same one that ultimately resulted in the capital contribution of the exact same amount to DSPL Ltd.

Other filings in the Companies Registration Office show that Balmirex is the immediate parent of an Irish company called Plainemorte Investments, which owns numbers 46 and 107 Grafton Street, Dublin.

Plainemorte is based in Avonlea Demesne, Lucan, and banks with HSBC Private Bank, Geneva. Its latest accounts say it is ultimately controlled by McManus. A request for a comment from McManus, submitted to a law firm known to act for companies controlled by him, received no response.

Overall, the accounts for Dever’s Irish finance and investment companies show loan note facilities totalling €1.5 billion were established since December 2021. However, it is understood that it does not follow that loans of this amount will eventually be taken out to fund investments via the group.

Structures such as the Dever one often include high loan-note capacity figures in order to ensure the structure can accommodate likely demand, according to a source with knowledge of such arrangements. For that reason the €1.5 billion figure does not necessarily reflect expected demand, the source said. Nevertheless, the Irish company accounts for the Dever structure show actual loans of more than €600 million were issued within the group by the end of 2022.

* This article was edited on Thursday, May 2nd, 2024