Blackstone gets green light for prime Dublin office purchase
Competition body clears deal for Colony stakes in Burlington Plaza and Three Ireland HQ
US private equity giant Blackstone has been given the green light by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) to proceed with the purchase of a majority interest in two of Dublin’s foremost office assets.
The CCPC’s approval of the deal clears the way for Blackstone to acquire the stakes held by another US investor, Colony Capital, in the Burlington Plaza office complex on Burlington Road and the headquarters of Three Ireland at 28/29 Sir John Rogerson’s Quay. Having considered the proposed transaction under the terms of the Competition Act, the commission said it had formed the view that the deal would “not substantially lessen competition in any market for goods or services in the State”.
The properties are valued at €204 million and €120 million respectively. Based on those estimates, Colony could secure up to €153 million from the sale of its three-quarter interest in Burlington Plaza and a further €120 million for its 100 per cent interest in Three Ireland’s headquarters, giving the transaction an overall value of up to €273 million.
The Irish Times first reported on the US private equity giant’s intention to purchase both blocks in December. The CCPC was notified of Blackstone’s bid in a formal merger notification on January 8th last.
The sale is part of Colony Capital’s planned disposal of its wider Irish property interests. The Los Angeles-headquartered group initiated that process in May of last year with a number of targeted approaches to potential suitors.
The sale of Colony’s portfolio was put on a more formal footing subsequently with the appointment of Eastdil Secured to handle the process.
The US firm acquired its share of Burlington Plaza and Three Ireland’s headquarters as part of its purchase for €455 million in 2017 of Nama’s €1.5 billion Project Tolka loan book which saw Colony take control of loans linked mainly to the late John Flynn, fellow developer Paddy Kelly, and the Dublin-based McCormack family, who control the property investment vehicle Alanis.