Richard Barrett not ruling out buying property from Nama

Developer launches Bartra Capital Property which plans to invest €1.2bn in housing, healthcare and energy

Asked if his company was considering buying property from Nama, Richard Barrett said “we will buy good quality assets from anybody”

Asked if his company was considering buying property from Nama, Richard Barrett said “we will buy good quality assets from anybody”

 

Developer Richard Barrett is not ruling out buying property from Nama, the State agency with which he and former business partner John Ronan once clashed in court.

Mr Barrett and Mr Ronan controlled Treasury Holdings, owner of properties such as Battersea Power Station in London and Central Park in Dublin, before Nama backed a move to wind it up in 2012.

He announced his comeback yesterday with the launch of Bartra Capital Property, which plans to invest €1.2 billion in housing, healthcare and energy, and is already eyeing suitable residential building sites.

Asked if his company was considering buying property from Nama, Mr Barrett said: “We will buy good quality assets from anybody”.

Treasury Holdings unsuccessfully challenged Nama’s right to take over the company’s debts to the Irish banks in a bid to fend off liquidation in 2012.

The agency backed a High Court action taken by KBC Bank to wind up Treasury which led to several months of litigation.

Mr Barrett confirmed that Bartra will devote a “sizeable” part of its fund to social housing.

He explained that the Government was already paying thousands of individual landlords to accommodate people on local authority housing lists. “The only difference is that no single landlord does it on a large scale,” he said.

The developer said the company had identified sites in Dublin, where demand was strongest, on which it intends to build social housing which it will rent to the Government.

Energy

The company is focusing on projects with planning permission, grid connections and turbine supply contracts, but where the owners have been unable to raise the cash to finish construction.

Speaking at Bartra’s launch, chief executive Mike Flannery explained the lack of spending on infrastructure during the recession created “exciting” potential for investment. “It is most acutely evident in chronic shortages of housing, healthcare, educational and energy facilities throughout the country.”