Developer Johnny Ronan exits Nama with backing from Colony and M&G

Loans due to the agency refinanced in €300 million deal

Johnny Ronan was one of the highest profile developers during the property boom that ultimately led to the Republic’s financial crash in 2008.

Johnny Ronan was one of the highest profile developers during the property boom that ultimately led to the Republic’s financial crash in 2008.

 

US firm Colony Capital and UK-based M&G Investments are funding developer Johnny Ronan’s exit from the National Asset Management Agency (Nama).

Ronan Group Real Estate (RGRE) confirmed that Mr Ronan exited the agency in a “€300 million transaction” on Wednesday.

“He is the largest borrower to reach a consensual settlement with Nama to repay all his loans in full,” the statement said. The company noted that it was a “complete refinance” and not a loan sale. Nama declined to comment.

The statement quoted Guy Leech, who arranged the deal, as saying it was a “highly complex” transaction.

It was previously reported that the new investors were paying €250 million against the loans and that Mr Ronan argued that Nama should give him credits on 10 different issues to offset against a total liability of €290 million.

Colony Capital is a US-based private equity fund with which Mr Ronan is already involved in a joint venture to develop a 200,000sq ft office block on Burlington Road in Dublin with Development Securities and Paddy McKillen.

The fund is responsible for $19 billion in assets around the world and bought close to €1 billion worth of property in the Republic last year.

M&G Investments is UK based fund that manages €340 billion in Europe and Asia. The assets include property, shares and cash. Law firm Eversheds acted for Mr Ronan.

According to the statement, the new loans are secured on RGRE’s 24 properties. These include the historic Bewley’s Café building on Grafton Street and a Paris mansion that houses the private banking headquarters of BNP Paribas.

Dublin office buildings Connaught House on Burlington Road and the Credit Suisse & ABN Amro office that forms part of the Spencer Dock Development on the north quays are also amongst its assets.

Mr Ronan was one of the highest profile developers during the property boom that ultimately led to the Republic’s financial crash in 2008.

Separate from his personal properties, he was a partner with Richard Barrett in Treasury Holdings, against which Nama took enforcement action in 2012. It was subsequently wound up on foot of action taken by KBC Bank Ireland.