Ronan and Colony selling majority stake in Facebook and Salesforce offices

RGRE and US firm Colony hire Eastdil Secured to advise on ‘majority interest’ sale

A computer-generated image of RGRE’s Fibonacci Square offices. The scheme forms part of Facebook’s new European HQ in Ballsbridge, Dublin 4

A computer-generated image of RGRE’s Fibonacci Square offices. The scheme forms part of Facebook’s new European HQ in Ballsbridge, Dublin 4

 

Developer Johnny Ronan’s Ronan Group Real Estate (RGRE) and US investment firm Colony Capital have "exclusively retained" Eastdil Secured to advise on the sale of "a majority interest” in the European headquarter offices they are developing for Facebook and Salesforce in Dublin.

In recent days, Eastdil has issued teaser documents in relation to a "joint venture opportunity" on both schemes to a targeted range of parties.

In the case of the Facebook development, potential suitors are being offered the opportunity to secure ownership of a majority stake in Fibonacci Square in Ballsbridge, Dublin 4. The scheme, which is fully let to Facebook on a 25-year lease commencing in 2022, forms part of the social media giant’s wider European headquarter campus comprising 870,000sq ft of office space.

Facebook’s decision to take out a 25-year lease on RGRE and Colony Capital’s Fibonacci Square office development represented the largest single office letting in the history of the State.

Facebook’s new Dublin campus is set to be its second-largest campus globally, outsized only by its global headquarters at Menlo Park in California. More than 60 Facebook teams will eventually be located in Ballsbridge. It will also be home to staff working for its subsidiary applications, WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger, and its Oculus virtual reality unit.

European headquarters

In the case of the Salesforce scheme, the potential purchaser stands to secure a majority interest in the global tech giant’s new European headquarters and a 204-bedroom hotel leased to the Dalata Hotel Group Plc on a “35-year term-certain” lease , which is under construction at Spencer Place in Dublin’s north docklands.

While Salesforce has already committed to renting 100 per cent of the 430,000sq ft of the office space for which planning permission has been granted, that footprint could potentially grow to 530,000sq ft should RGRE secure approval from Dublin City Council to increase the permitted height of Salesforce Tower from nine to 13 storeys.

Spencer Place will serve as Salesforce’s new European headquarters with a 15-year lease set to commence in March 2021.

While RGRE and Colony Capital declined to comment, a source familiar with the matter described the process as part of an agreed strategy to secure a “long-term partner” for the two assets, and potentially for future opportunities. The source insisted that it was the intention of both RGRE and Colony to maintain an interest in the Fibonacci Square and Spencer Place schemes.