Moran family borrows €100m to buy Manor Park

 

Businessman Joe Moran and his family have borrowed more than €100 million from Bank of Scotland Ireland to fund their buyout of DCC's 49 per cent shareholding in Manor Park Homebuilders.

DCC will receive €181 million for its stake in Manor Park. The diversified holding company is being paid €172 million in "franked investment income". This is a tax-efficient dividend payment from Manor Park.

In addition, Morvest Ltd, a vehicle controlled by the Moran family, has agreed to pay €9 million to DCC to acquire its equity stake in the business.

DCC said it would book an exceptional profit of €94 million from the transaction. As a result of this deal, its year-end exceptional gain would be €34 million.

Mr Moran and his four children have taken full ownership of the business, having previously held a 51 per cent stake.

Mr Moran's son John is Manor Park's chief executive, while daughter Adrienne is the marketing director. Mr Moran said his daughter Cara is joining the company as head of finance, while his eldest daughter Jean will be a director of the company.

"This was an opportunity to put it into a family company and develop it for my children," Mr Moran said.

Mr Moran (72) said the family intended to develop Manor Park's extensive landbank here. "I was always hoping I could buy it myself and this a realistic price," he said.

Jim Flavin, DCC's executive chairman, described it as a good deal for DCC. "Our view was that we would achieve a price [for the entire company] of €500 million but that didn't actually happen for a number of reasons that we know about," he said. "But we are very pleased with this deal."

Mr Flavin highlighted how DCC had acquired its stake in 1980 for €54,000 and had received about €10 million in dividends in the intervening years.

"It has been a phenomenal investment from our point of view," he said. "This releases cash to allow us to continue to pursue growth for our business both organically and through acquisitions."

In a note to clients yesterday, stockbroker Davy said the deal places a value of €440 million on Manor Park. It was put up for sale in February and reports then suggested that it could be worth more than €700 million.

Mr Moran confirmed that leading property developer Liam Carroll had come close to buying Manor Park. "He just got involved in other things and the moment passed," he said.

Manor Park owns lands in Ongar, Cappagh and the Digital Hub in Dublin. It also has a large development in Drogheda and owns the Abbeville estate in Kinsealy, Co Dublin, which was home to former taoiseach Charles Haughey.

It has 4,000 housing units in the pipeline, according to Mr Moran. "That will keep us going for a few years to come," he said.