Facebook to pay Johnny Ronan company €600m

Seen & Heard: Kerry proposal for Revenue, Conrad Hotel for sale, Ryanair reprimanded

Dublin’s five-star Conrad Hotel on Earlsfort Terrace. Photograph: Frank Miller

Dublin’s five-star Conrad Hotel on Earlsfort Terrace. Photograph: Frank Miller


Kerry Co-op is to put a proposal to the Revenue Commissioners that could clear the way for its members to benefit from a partial spin-out of its €2.2 billion stake in the publicly quoted Kerry Group, reports the Sunday Independent.

The board of the co-op, which holds a 13.7 per cent stake in the food giant, is taking advice from tax experts to find a way to undertake a partial share spin-out, the newspaper says, citing well-placed sources.

The move comes amid disputes over the future of the co-op, with discontent among many shareholders that they cannot cash in on share pots that average €165,000 per member.

Facebook move

Property developer Johnny Ronan’s company Ronan Group Real Estate and its funding partners Colony Capital will be paid €600 million by tech giant Facebook over a 25-year lease agreement, reports the Sunday Business Post.

The deal by Facebook to lease all of Fibonacci Square, a 350,000sq ft office space on the Merrion Road, is the biggest single letting in Irish history.

The newspaper cites property industry sources suggesting that Facebook was paying more than €60 per sq ft per annum, generating a rent roll of €21 million-€25 million per year.

Conrad sale

Dublin’s five-star Conrad Hotel on Earlsfort Terrace will be brought to market in early 2019 for a figure of €120 million-€125 million, according to the Sunday Independent.

Preparations for the sale have begun, the newspaper understands. The Conrad Dublin is 47.8 per cent owned by both Hilton Worldwide and the Cashel Fund, a regulated investment fund based in Dublin. Life and pensions group Aviva owns the remainder of the shares.

Property agents CBRE has reportedly been told by all three shareholders to sell their respective interests.

PageFair sold

PageFair, a Dublin-based media software company co-founded by entrepreneur Sean Blanchfield, has been acquired by Blockthrough, a rival Canadian company, for an undisclosed sum, reports the Sunday Times.

The company, founded by Blanchfield, Brian McDonnell and Neil O’Connor in 2012, specialises in helping digital publishers recover revenues lost to ad-blocking software.

PageFair had raised about €3 million from investors including Frontline Ventures, Tribal VC and Enterprise Ireland.

Nama details

The Comptroller and Auditor General has told State assets agency Nama to hand over more details on the sale of €352 million in toxic debt in connection with property company Quinlan Private, reports the Sunday Business Post.

The sale of the debt, code-named Project Nantes, has been criticised by opposition politicians, who allege that the loans were not openly marketed and that the purchasing party had links with Quinlan Private.

The newspaper suggests this move may be a prelude to a deeper investigation.

Ryanair revenue

The State’s accounting watchdog has taken Ryanair to task for failing to reveal where it earned €5 billion of revenues and for breaching technical disclosure rules on directors’ pay, according to the Sunday Times.

The Irish Auditing and Accounting Supervisory Authority has ruled that a more detailed breakdown is required on how much business Ryanair does in other European countries than is currently offered in its annual report in order for the airline to comply with international accounting standards.

Ryanair has given an undertaking that it will disclose this in future, as well as greater detail on pay to non-executive directors.