Noel Smyth wins battle for control of Arnotts

Fitzwilliam Finance Partners to acquire US group Apollo’s 50% stake

Property player Noel Smyth's Fitzwilliam Finance Partners has won the battle for control of landmark Dublin department store, Arnotts.

In a statement released late on Friday, Fitzwilliam said it had reached agreement to acquire its rival US group Apollo’s 50 per stake in Arnotts.

"We are pleased that we have reached agreement with Apollo concerning the purchase of their stake in Arnotts," Fitzwilliam Finance Partners said.

Earlier this year, Fitzwilliam and Apollo had been vying with each for control of the department store. Each owned 50 per cent of the business wanted to buy out the other.


However, Apollo's partner, Bluegem Capital, owner of the Liberty department store in London , pulled out earlier this month. The decision effectively left the way clear for Fitzwilliam to take full control of Arnotts.

It originally acquired its stake by buying Arnotts' €140 million loans from Ulster Bank. Apollo took control of the other half by buying €230 million of its loans from the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, the former Anglo Irish Bank.

Arnotts racked up the debt midway through the last decade by buying blocks of property around its, which it ultimately intended to develop as a retail quarter.

Fitzwilliam said that it would continue to develop both Arnotts itself and the surrounding properties as market conditions improve.

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O’Halloran covers energy, construction, insolvency, and gaming and betting, among other areas