Oaktree on track to win race for The Square in Tallaght

Final bids for 27-year-old shopping mall were lodged this week

The Square opened in 1990, and its anchor tenants include Dunnes Stores, Tesco and Debenhams.   Photograph: Peter Moloney

The Square opened in 1990, and its anchor tenants include Dunnes Stores, Tesco and Debenhams. Photograph: Peter Moloney

 

US private equity group Oaktree is on track to land a controlling stake in the Square Tallaght for some €230 million, The Irish Times has learned.

The 27-year-old shopping mall was put on the market in August on the instructions of the National Asset Management Agency (Nama). Final bids for the 53,603sq m (577,500sq ft) centre were lodged on Tuesday of this week, according to sources.

The Irish Times reported last month that Oaktree, acting through a vehicle called Targeted Investment Opportunities (TIO), had made it to the final shake-out of bidders alongside BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, and London-based real estate investment firm Orion Capital Managers.

A spokesman for Nama and spokeswoman for Oaktree declined to comment on Friday.

The Square opened in 1990, and its anchor tenants include Dunnes Stores, Tesco and Debenhams. Some of the mall’s units were sold to institutions, traders and tax investors when the premises first opened.

Solicitor and developer Noel Smyth, who began building up a stake in the centre in the middle of the last decade, stepped down from the board of the company that controls the centre, Indego, more than four years ago.

Hottest areas

Dublin shopping centres have been among the hottest areas of the Irish commercial property market in recent years, with UK property firm Hammerson and German insurer Allianz taking over the Dundrum Town Centre last year.

US investment firm Blackstone acquired the Blanchardstown Centre last year from Green Property.

Elsewhere, Germany public pensions firm Bayerische Versorgungskammer snapped up the Liffey Valley Shopping Centre last December from US real estate firm Hines, UK insurer Aviva and London-based real estate company Grosvenor Group.

Oaktree moved in recent months to roll some of the Irish residential development assets it acquired following the property crash into a new homebuilder, Glenveagh Properties, which floated on the stock market last month. Oaktree owns 16.5 per cent of Glenveagh.