Nama sells Northside Shopping Centre loans for €50m

Patron Capital Partners buys portfolio with €225m face value associated with developer Brian O'Farrell

There were four bidders in the final shake-up for developer Brian O’Farrell’s portfolio. Photograph: Collins Courts

Patron Capital Partners has acquired loans with a face value of €225 million associated with Brian O’Farrell, the north


developer and auctioneer, from the

National Asset Management Agency



Patron is understood to have bought the loan portfolio, which includes the Northside Shopping Centre for a price in the region of €50 million.

The UK and Luxembourg real estate fund has about €2.5 billion under management. It has been actively bidding for Irish property assets for two years and in January bought the 165-bed Clarion Hotel in Dublin's International Financial Services Centre for €33 million.

It previously bought Chief O'Neill's hotel in Smithfield, north Dublin, and converted it into a Generator Hostel, and it was a runner-up in the bidding for the Morrison Hotel in Dublin, which was ultimately acquired by Russia's richest woman, Yelena Baturina.

There were four bidders in the final shake-up for Mr O’Farrell’s portfolio. Initially CarVal Investors was tipped to buy the portfolio with a bid of €60 million.

In later negotiations the American investment fund is believed to have reduced this price, allowing Patron pull ahead. Development Securities plc and Fortress Investment Group were also both under-bidders for the loan portfolio.

Patron declined to comment yesterday. It is rumoured to have teamed up with a well-known Munster developer of shopping centres to expand the Northside Shopping Centre, but Patron again declined to comment.

The Northside Shopping Centre is located on the northern fringe of the M50 in Coolock and tenants include Dunnes Stores, New Look, SuperValu and Heaton's.

Patron was founded by former Lehman Brothers banker Keith Breslauer in 1999. It has previously invested in hotels, Manchester's MEN Arena and Powerleague 5-a-side football venues.

Mr O'Farrell's portfolio also includes a retail centre in Poland, a potentially valuable site in north Dublin, and a large house in the K Club.

The sale of his loans was handled by accountants EY, formerly Ernst & Young in a project code-named Drive.

Auctioneering business
Mr O'Farrell has been in the auctioneering business for almost four decades and is principal of O'Farrell Cleere, Estate Agents and Valuers in Malahide. This business is not affected by the Nama loan sale.

The low profile property investor was one of the so-called Maple 10 developers who were lent money by Anglo Irish Bank to buy some of its shares that were formerly contracts for difference held by Seán Quinn. At the conclusion of a recent criminal trial into lending by three Anglo bankers to the Maple 10 and Mr Quinn, Judge Martin Nolan said he was impressed by the 10 developers. "They were certainly good men and acting with good motives," he said.