Torca Homes, a low-key developer run by Dublin brothers Oisín and Phelim O’Connor, has agreed a €14.3 million financing deal with a company connected to Warren Private, the investment firm led by Kevin Warren.
One of the property development group’s entities, Torca Developments, plans to borrow the cash from Warren Private’s Wiseglen, before using it to refinance the debts of a slew of other group companies. Company documents suggest the debt is secured on a portfolio of properties including lands owned by Torca in Wexford and Kilkenny as well as a pub, Carroll’s, in Thomastown.
Torca, which is named after its first development on a road in the plush Dublin village of Dalkey, emerged from the ruins of the Celtic Tiger to grown into a successful and highly active mid-sized property developer. It is jointly owned by its executive directors, 33-year-old Phelim, an accountant, and 29-year-old Oisín, an engineer.
The company has expanded in recent years with housing projects all over Ireland. Among its latest schemes is Redan Cliff, a small development of homes for over €1 million each in Dalkey. It is also developing homes near Adare Manor golf resort in Limerick, while last February it paid almost €2.2 million for a site in Dublin 15.
In 2018 Torca was reported to have paid more than €7 million for a site in Lucan in Dublin. It is also developing other projects on the go in Blanchardstown, Carrickmines, Mullingar and Navan. Another scheme for 120 housing units in Kilkenny has run into planning delays.
Torca has been backed heavily since its inception by Warren Private, which says it has provided loans of €335 million to residential developers in recent years. Various Warren-associated companies have provided loans to Torca since 2016, while the property developer's directors previously included Warren executives, Dave Kelleher and Mark O'Brien, who is a director of Wiseglen. The other director of Wiseglen is former Anglo Irish bank/IBRC banker Niall Tuite.
The O’Connor brothers are the sons of Mayo born property developer John Flowery O’Connor, a former florist who amassed €175 million of property debt during the Celtic Tiger era. He built a huge portfolio of properties in Ireland and across Europe but stayed mostly low key in the Celtic Tiger boom years. He gained some prominence in crash, however, when a High Court judge admonished him for “forgetting” to include some of his properties in a list of assets during a commercial dispute in 2010.
Torca and Warren private did not respond to requests for comment.