Facebook considers AIB’s HQ as campus for 5,000 workers

Seen&Heard: Donegal Catch could be landed for €57M; drug company flotation

Social media group Facebook is considering building more than 700,000 sq ft of offices that could house 5,000 workers at a high-profile Dublin site, the Sunday Business Post reported.

The US multi-national was recently said to be looking at taking 450,000 sq ft at the AIB Bank Centre in Ballsbridge, Dublin, which developer Johnny Ronan now owns.

According to the Sunday Business Post, Facebook could add 325,000 sq ft to this and develop a complex where 5,000 people could “comfortably” work.

“Facebook is also rumoured to be looking at housing solutions in Dublin to accommodate the thousands of new staff it wants to hire in the future,” the newspaper added. Neither Ronan Group Real Estate nor Facebook commented.


Donegal Catch hook

Businessman Ranjit Singh Boparan is weighing a €57 million sale of Irish frozen fish business Donegal Catch, according to the Sunday Times.

The entrepreneur's 2Sisters Food Group is understood to have hired corporate financiers from Clearwater International to work on a possible sale of the frozen fish processor.

Last month the company agreed the sale of Goodfella's Pizzas to Nomad Foods, owner of Birds Eye. The pizza business is part of Green Isle, which is also home to Donegal Catch.

The Sunday Times said that Mr Boparan was battling to hold his heavily indebted food empire together after surging inflation and a chicken safety scandal hit it last year.

Green Isle was part of the Northern Food operation that Mr Boparan bought for £324 million in 2011. Leeds, UK-based 2Sisters saw off Irish group Greencore in the race to buy the business.

New tenant

The Sunday Times named Canadian financial services group TD Securities as the tenant that is eyeing the top floor of Green Real Estate Investment Trust's One Molesworth Street building in Dublin.

Last week, Green confirmed that it was in advanced talks with a potential tenant for the top floor of its flagship development just metres from Stephen’s Green in the capital’s centre.

The Sunday Times said that TD Securities, part of Canada's Toronto-Dominion Bank, is considering moving into 1,000 sq m space in the building, where it could have about 100 staff.

TD will join British lender, Barclays, and aircraft leasing specialist, Goshawk Aviation in the building, which will also house a restaurant and a bread shop.

Company flotation

A new drugs company that will specialise in treatments for rare illnesses plans to float on the Irish Stock Exchange, according to the Sunday Independent.

Open Orphan, chaired by John Given, is considering offering its shares for sale to the public some time in October or November.

The company intends buying the rights to drugs, already approved or near-approved, for treating rare illnesses and selling them in Africa, Europe and the Middle East. The pharmaceutical industry calls medicines of this type "orphan drugs".

Open Orphan's chief executive and chief medical officer, Dairine Dempsey, told the Sunday Independent that it was too early to say how much money the company would raise from its stock market launch, but added that it would be substantial.