Luke Comer buys Wicklow stud farm for €2.53m
Billionaire adds 120-acre estate near Enniskerry to portfolio of equine holdings
Ballinteskin Stud, Enniskerry, Co Wicklow, includes a six-bed Georgian house, 32 stables, arenas, and a helicopter hangar and landing pad
Billionaire developer Luke Comer has purchased Ballinteskin Stud, Co Wicklow at auction for €2.53million. The country estate on 120 acres near Enniskerry and Roundwood, Co Wicklow was placed on the market in September with an AMV (advised minimum value) of €2.5million.
There were four parties competing for the property when bidding opened at €1.5million through auctioneer Willie Coonan. Once it was declared on the market at €2.53million, Comer’s was the final bid.
The estate includes a six-bed Georgian house in walk-in condition, 32 stables, indoor and outdoor arenas, and a helicopter hangar and landing pad. It is located a short distance from Comer’s other substantial investment in Wickow, Kilternan Sports and Leisure complex which he purchased in 2014 for a knockdown price of €7 million.
Kilternan was the vision of the late Hugh O’Regan and was developed prior to the crash with loans of €171.5 million from Irish Nationwide. The Comers are close to completing that project, and some of its land has been held for training horses.
Luke Comer and his brother retain significant land banks for development here, in the UK and throughout Europe. In recent years Luke has built up substantial equine holdings around Wicklow, Kildare and Meath, including Castletown Demesne, a Georgian mansion on 400 acres in Kildare which he bought in 2015 for €10 million.
Most recently he was underbidder for Ballymacoll Stud, one of Ireland’s best known equine breeding grounds in Dunboyne, Co Meath, very close to Comer’s Summerhill stud farm. The buyer that day was neighbour and Dunnes Stores tycoon, Frank Dunne, who paid €8.15million for the 300-acre stud.
Ballinteskin has operated as a stud farm for more than 40 years, and Comer’s purchase of the estate will make him the third developer in succession to own it. It was previously owned by members of the Durkan housebuilding firm - well known in the racing community - and more recently by developer, John Flynn. Ballinteskin was placed onthe market in 2008 seeking €14 million but failed to sell. Comer’s acquisition represents an 80per cent discount on its boomtime valuation.