Seven former Whelan Group limestone quarries for sale

Quarries with combined market value of more than €10 million to be sold by tender

In one of the most unusual commercial property sales so far this year, agents Ganly Walters and Carter Jonas of the UK are seeking a purchaser for seven limestone quarries with a combined market value of more than €10 million.

The quarries were operated by the Whelan Group for more than 40 years until they closed in 2010 with debts of €50 million owed to Anglo Irish Bank and €12 million owed to Bank of Scotland.

The sales agents are planning to sell the seven quarries by tender on October 15th on the instructions of the receiver, Paul McCann of Grant Thornton.

In the meantime, two of the seven quarries are being operated by the Belfast-based Lagan Group at a rent of €500,000 a year on short- term leases until 2017.

Evan O’Reilly of Ganly Walters says they are expecting strong interest in the quarries from both national and international purchasers given the current strength of sterling against the euro and the increasing demand for building materials.

As part of the marketing strategy for the sale, experts are pointing out that the seven quarries have a combined reserve 97,870,000 tonnes of stone over an extraction lifespan of 312 years.

The quarries are to be sold in one or more lots.

The highest guide price of €4.6 million has been set for Fountain Cross in Co Clare, which consists of a limestone quarry, fixed crushing and screening plants and concrete/ asphalt manufacturing facilities.

The quarry has an annual extraction rate of 600,000 tons.

Similar guide prices of €525,000 have been set for two other Co Clare quarries, the Cliff in Darragh and Tullagower in Kilrush.

The sale will also include three Co Cork quarries, Kilnadrow, in Mitchelstown, which has a guide price of €700,000; Copstown, in Mallow, which has a guide of €1,775,000 and another one in Carrigtwohill where the figure is €950,000.

A single quarry in Lecarrow, Co Roscommon, has a guide price of €1.4 million.