Lender to offer €150m in loans for construction development

Seen & Heard: Facebook eyes more floors for staff while City Bins plans acquisition spree

Facebook has floor plans to house expanding workforce. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Facebook has floor plans to house expanding workforce. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times


Irish peer-to-peer lender Property Bridges plans to offer at least €150 million in construction development loans over the next three years, according to the Sunday Independent.

More that 1,300 lenders have signed up to the service since it launched in October. So far, two projects have been fully funded to the value of €1 million. However, at least 10 additional projects have been scheduled for the next six months with a loan value of €15 million.

The country’s main construction lobby group, the construction Industry Federation, has warned against increasing the obligation on private developers to build social housing, according to the Sunday newspaper. A legislative proposal that would double developers’ obligation to build houses for social purposes on their sites has received significant backing from most of the Oireachtas.

Kingspan chief executive Gene Murtagh has said he plans to open a second modular housing factory, adding to the boom in pre-packed homes, according to the Sunday Times.

Off-site house fabrication is enjoying a boom at the moment. Construction group BAM is taking a minority stake in Modern Homes, which produces 500 prefabricated steel-framed houses a year.

The German insurance group Arag is expanding into the Irish market with a deal to acquire the country’s largest legal insurer, according to the Sunday Times

Arag announced that it had agreed a deal to buy the Irish business operations of DAS legal Expenses Insurances from the Ergo Group, which is owned by German company Munich Re. The takeover is subject to regulatory approval.

What’s happening in Ballsbridge?

Facebook has plans in the works to squeeze even more space out of its new campus in Ballsbridge to accommodate a growing workforce, the Sunday Business Post reports. It is seeking permission to a add a fifth storey to the two office blocks that would face on to Merrion Road, which would create an additional 1,585sq m. The two additional floors would create space for 200 more staff, according to commercial property sources.

The City Bin company plans to to go on an acquisition spree after securing €30 million in investment, according to the Sunday Business Post. The company – founded in Galway in 1997 before expanding to Dublin in 2012 – raised the money from Muzinich & Co, a European investment firm specialising in public and private corporate credit. The €30 million bought out City Bin’s Dubai based funder Averda and will provide capital for acquisitions.