Ericsson’s Athlone research centre sold above €19m guide

Technology firm on 25-year lease should bring net initial yield of 10% to new owner

Ericsson R&D facility in Athlone Co. Westmeath: sold for more than €19 million

Ericsson R&D facility in Athlone Co. Westmeath: sold for more than €19 million


An international investment firm with Irish links has purchased the long-established Ericsson research and development facility in Athlone, Co Westmeath, for slightly over the €19 million guide price.

Ross Fogarty of Knight Frank handled the sale for property developer Gerry Gannon, who bought the investment in 2000 in a sale and leaseback transaction.

The property is let to Ericsson on a 25-year lease from 2002 at a now passing rent of €1,977,325 from February, leaving the investor with about 10 years of secure income. The lease provides for a minimum rental uplift of 10 per cent or open market rental value, whichever is higher.

The next review is due in February 2022. A price of €19 million will give a purchaser a minimum net initial yield of 10 per cent up to 2022 and 11 per cent from then onwards.

Campus-style development

The Ericsson facility is a campus-style development occupying 15.23 acres (6.16 hectares). It comprises two connecting office and software development facilities and a detached communications building.

Ericsson is a world-leading provider of telecommunications equipment and related services to mobile and fixed network operators. It is one of the longest-standing technology companies to base itself in Ireland, establishing its first operation here in 1957. The Athlone facility was established in 1974.

Knight Frank said the sale attracted “robust interest” and multiple offers were made. “It is a big vote of confidence in the longevity of Ericsson’s operations in Athlone” as well as a sign of the “positive sentiment towards quality regional commercial property investment”.