Michael O’Flynn raises €400m to regain control of firm

Joint-venture agreement signed with New York-based Avenue Capital Group, which has assets under management of $13.2bn

Developer Michael O’Flynn: says O’Flynn Construction Group aims to build 10,000 homes, mostly in Dublin and Cork, over the next seven or eight years. Photograph: Daragh McSweeney/Provision Developer Michael O’Flynn. Photograph: Daragh McSweeney/Provision

Cork developer Michael O'Flynn has put together a funding package of €400 million to secure control of his business in Ireland from private equity group Blackstone. Mr O'Flynn said the new funding structure was a "pivotal moment" in the development of O'Flynn Construction Group after "some challenging years". He said the group aimed to build 10,000 homes, mostly in Dublin and Cork, over the next seven or eight years.

Mr O'Flynn signed a joint-venture agreement with New York-based Avenue Capital Group, which has assets under management of $13.2 billion. The €400 million package includes senior debt from both Avenue and AIB.

Separately in the UK, Mr O’Flynn has entered a joint venture with global investment giant Blackrock to develop a number of assets with a combined gross development value of €500 million.

The O'Flynn group's UK arm is led by John Nesbitt, who has responsibility for subsidiaries Victoria Hall and Tiger Developments, which focus on student accommodation and asset development respectively. The Irish company also has a number of development assets located in Edinburgh, Peckham and Portsmouth. Mr Nesbitt said he intended to grow the business "opportunistically".

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“We intend taking advantage of the opportunity to undertake new mixed-use schemes, student accommodation and residential projects,” he said.

The development assets include a major town-centre redevelopment opportunity in Peckham; a substantial site in Portsmouth; a development project in Haymarket, Edinburgh; a mixed-use hotel and residential project in Clerkenwell, London, and a project in York.

Founded in 1978, O’Flynn Construction Group has been involved in residential and commercial development in Ireland, Britain and continental Europe.

At its peak, the business had 1,000 staff and it was one of the State’s most successful construction groups. Today, employee numbers are about 70 and it expects to build just 50 to 75 housing units this year.

Ciarán Hancock

Ciarán Hancock

Ciarán Hancock is Business Editor of The Irish Times