Convention Centre Dublin welcomes new ownership

Completion of sale of operating businesses to Irish Infrastructure Fund

Convention Centre Dublin opened in September 2010 and has since hosted over 1,1000 events

Convention Centre Dublin opened in September 2010 and has since hosted over 1,1000 events

 

The sale of the operating business of the Convention Centre Dublin to the Irish Infrastructure Fund has been completed, it was confirmed on Friday.

The fund, which is backed by the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (formerly the National Pensions Reserve Fund), emerged as the preferred bidder to operate and maintain the centre earlier this year.

Convention Centre Dublin opened in September 2010 and has since hosted over 1,1000 events including the European People’s Party Congress in 2014, which was attended by 17 heads of state.

The sale of the operating businesses of the centre includes the concession contract to operate and maintain the facility; a long term lease of the 321-space car park; and alicence to build and operate an approximately 330-bed hotel on a site adjacent to it. No financial details surrounding the transaction have been disclosed.

The venue, which is Ireland’s first-purposed built international conference centre, was developed as a public private partnership between Spencer Dock Development Company Ltd - which was owned by John Ronan and Richard Barrett of Treasury Holdings and the property developer Harry Crosbie - and the Office of Public Works (OPW). The building itself is owned by the OPW.

In October 2012, Spencer Dock Development Company was put into liquidation, and in October 2014, the joint liquidators, Paul McCann and Michael McAteer of Grant Thornton, began the sale process of the contract to run the centre. The sale process began last year and was conducted by Rubicon Infrastructure Advisors on behalf of Grant Thornton.

The Convention Centre’s chairman Dermod Dwyer welcomed completion of the sale of the operating businesses, which he said would help secure the facility’s long-term future.

The venue has won a total of 27 industry awards since opening, including being named as one of the top four Convention Centres in the World at the AIPC Apex Awards 2012 and winning gold for ‘’Best Overseas Conference Centre’ at the UK M&IT Awards 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015.

The Convention Centre Dublin reported an overall profit of €15.37 million for the 10-month period to end December 2013, compared to €3.52 million for the full year to February 2013. Operational revenue for the 10 months period was €19.6 million, compared to €24.15 million in the 12 months to the end of February 2013.