Davy may fetch up to €400m when sold - report

Seen and Heard: Half of new-builds to be reserved for first-time buyers, State invested in ‘cuckoo fund’

Up to 80% of houses in many such developments could be earmarked for social and affordable housing, as well as for first-time buyers. Photograph: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

Up to 80% of houses in many such developments could be earmarked for social and affordable housing, as well as for first-time buyers. Photograph: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

 

Beleaguered Davy Stockbrokers could fetch as much as €400 million when it is sold, according to a report in the Sunday Business Post, which cites sources familiar with the bidding process.

Brian McKiernan, the former chief executive of Davy, and one of the Davy 16 group, is estimated to own a 13 per cent stake in the stockbrokers, meaning he would be in line for a payout in the region of €45 million to €50 million from such a sale.

The firm was expected to sell at a discount because of the controversy surrounding it and the resulting reputational damage.

However, several people familiar with the deal have told the Business Post that the sale price for Davy could be somewhere between €350 million and €400 million, which is at the higher end of the price range and would value the business in the region of six to seven times profits.

The Business Post understands the final sale price for Davy is likely to be heavily caveated, and could be dependent on the firm being given full clearance by the Central Bank that no further fines or sanctions will be levelled against it for any other potential regulatory breaches from the past.

One of the conditions might involve splitting the deal so that a certain percentage of the sales price is paid up front, with the remainder conditional on the clear resolution to an external due diligence process, sources have said.

Half of new-build homes to be reserved for first-time buyers

Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien is preparing to introduce regulations that will allow councils to make developers reserve up to half of homes in a new housing estate for first-time buyers, the Sunday Times claims in a report, citing Government sources.

The new powers could be given to city and county councils under the Planning and Development Act within weeks of being approved by cabinet, but they will not apply retrospectively to a housing estate that already has received planning permission.

The first-time buyers’ allocation is among the measure that Mr O’Brien and Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe will bring to Cabinet this week in a bid to discourage investment funds from bulk-buying family homes in finished estates.

The Sunday Independent covers the same story. Measures to be brought to Cabinet this week by Mr O’Brien could ultimately see up to 80 per cent of houses in many such developments ear marked for social and affordable housing, as well as for first-time buyers. The plan also intends to tackle the controversial bulk sale of housing estates to in vestment trusts on what Government sources describe as a “density basis”.

In effect, so-called cuckoo funds will be prohibited from bulk-buying estates which contain less than 50 houses per hectare.

State invested in ‘cuckoo fund’ that snapped up hundreds of Maynooth homes

The Irish State invested in a so-called cuckoo fund that has bulk-bought hundreds of homes in two Maynooth housing estates, the Business Post reports.

More than €225 million of Government funding that aimed to stimulate housing supply was ultimately used by funds to buy up houses and apartments before they could be put on the open market for regular buyers.

Urbeo, an institutional fund majority owned by a US-based company, received a €60 million investment from the Irish state in 2018.

In 2019, Urbeo bulk-purchased nearly two-thirds of the 143 new-build homes in Carton Grove housing estate in Maynooth, which contains 126 houses and 15 apartments.

Open the borders or risk losing €900m, tourism chiefs warn

Ireland could generate up to €1 billion in revenue and put an extra 50,000 people back to work in hospitality and tourism if it reopens the economy to overseas holidaymakers this summer, an expert group has told Minster for Tourism Catherine Martin, according to a report in the Sunday Times. The Government should begin planning for the resumption of open travel from Britain as early as July, and for fully vaccinated American tourists later in the summer, the Tourism Recovery Oversight Group has said. Ms Martin will bring its report to Cabinet this week, it said.