Johnny Ronan group settles €1bn property row

Facebook HQ, Waterfront and Spencer Place developments at heart of dispute between partners

A dispute between a development company run by Johnny Ronan and its co-investor in three planned Dublin developments worth an estimated €1 billion has been resolved, the Commercial Court has heard.

The row was between Ronan Group Real Estate Ltd (RGRE) and its co-investor, DigitalBridge Inc, formerly Colony Capital, over the sale of stakes in the Dublin projects to US group, Fortress Investment.

The disagreements arose out of a 2021 agreement by DigitalBridge relating to a $2.7 billion (€2.3 billion) transaction to sell its non-digital European property assets to Fortress. Digital Bridge’s joint ventures with RGRE are proposed to be wrapped into that deal, over objections from Mr Ronan.

The developments involved include a mixed residential and commercial project, known as the Waterfront, on Dublin's docklands; Facebook's new European headquarters at Fibonacci Square, in Ballsbridge; and the Spencer Place development in the docklands that includes a headquarters tower for tech firm Salesforce and a luxury hotel, the Samuel, to be operated by the Dalata Group.


RGRE obtained two injunctions restraining completion of the sale and also preventing DigitalBridge from appointing a receiver over the Waterfront assets arising from an alleged €317 million debt. DigitalBridge owns some 70 per cent of Waterfront.

The injunctions were sought by RGRE and a number of related companies pending determination of the full dispute. DigitalBridge and some related firms opposed the injunction applications and denied the RGRE’s claims.

In November, the injunction aspect of the dispute was resolved.

On Monday, Alison Kierse, for RGRE, told Mr Justice Denis McDonald the parties had agreed to settle the matter. She required an adjournment with liberty to re-enter the matter before the court, given the complex nature of the matter.

The judge said he was delighted to hear the parties had reached an accommodation and he granted the order sought.