US-backed investor Broadhaven is poised to take control of three Dublin sites with planning for almost 900 homes after regulators approved its purchase on Monday.
Broadhaven, funded by US-based Bain Capital Partners and led by former banker David Cullen, recently bid a reported €90 million for sites in Portmarnock, Rathfarnham and Hollystown with permission for 874 new homes.
State mergers regulator, the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, approved the deal on Monday, leaving the way clear for Broadhaven to take over the three development sites, which have been for sale since last year.
New York investor Centerbridge's Irish arm and local firms Avestus and Regency put the properties on the market in late 2016, appointing London-based Eastdil Securities to manage the auction.
Broadhaven emerged as the successful bidder in May, but the transaction’s scale meant that it had to be notified to the competition regulator for approval before it could go ahead.
The sites are Hollywoodrath in Hollystown, Scholarstown Wood in Rathfarnham and Station Manor in Portmarnock. The seller put them together at a cost of about €60 million and spent further money building on two of them.
Broadhaven is likely to bring in a developer to build the houses. A number of new homes built in Hollywoodrath and Scholarstown sold quickly after going on the market last year. Building has yet to start on the Portmarnock site.
The company launched three years ago with the aim of investing up to €200 million in house building and property. Businessman Dermot Desmond was one of the original investors, but he has since exited and Bain is now its sole backer.
It invested €35 million in rescuing Regency Hotel owner, the McGettigan Group, from examinership and refinanced the €60 million debt publican and hotelier Louis Fitzgerald’s group owed to Goldman Sachs.
Boston-based Bain Capital is a private equity fund that manages almost €70 billion on behalf of its investors. Former US presidential candidate Mitt Romney co-founded the business in the 1980s. Centerbridge is another US private equity fund. It manages more than €20 billion for investors.