Ken Rohan steps down from helm of Airspace


KEN ROHAN, one of the best-known property developers in the country, is stepping down from the helm of his company.

Airspace Investments Ltd, the ultimate parent of the Rohan group of companies, said yesterday that Mr Rohan’s son, Jamie (34), has been appointed managing director of the business; he was previously development director.

Ken Rohan, former chairman and managing director, will remain as its majority shareholder and as a director of the business.

A former chairman of Dublin law firm Arthur Cox, James O’Dwyer, is taking over as chairman at the property firm. He is a director of Goldman Sachs Europe, Stafford Holdings and Fyffes.

Mr Rohan, who turned 65 earlier this year, has had a long career in the property and building businesses. His original group grew into one of the more successful Irish-based plcs in the 1980s, on the back of industrial building and property investment here, in Britain and subsequently the US.

A series of deals towards the end of the decade saw Mr Rohan sell the group to rival business Cabra for £42 million in 1990. However, he kept the right to buy certain of its assets and, following the deal, he bought the old International Meat Packers site on Grand Canal Street in Dublin.

The site is now home to a series of office and apartment developments. Part of it is the Grand Canal Plaza office complex, which houses the Irish headquarters of multinational companies such as telecoms group BT and consultancy Accenture.

Airspace also has stakes in a number of business parks around the capital as well as a range of other interests in Ireland, Britain and Barbados.

The latest accounts filed by the company and its subsidiaries show that turnover fell by more than 40 per cent in the 12 months to November 30th, 2008, to €38.5 million from €63.8 million.

It had profits of €8.6 million but had to write down the value of its properties by €19 million.