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Zara founder still engaged in process to acquire Meta’s Dublin 4 HQ

Exchange of contracts for €550m sale of Fibonacci Square in Ballsbridge postponed twice

The family firm of Zara founder Amancio Ortega remains involved in a process to acquire Fibonacci Square, the 34,838sq m (375,000sq ft) office space that Johnny Ronan’s RGRE has developed as part of Meta’s new European headquarters in Ballsbridge.

Sources familiar with the matter said that while the Spanish billionaire’s firm, Pontegadea, had effectively “pressed the pause button” on any potential deal, they dismissed suggestions that it had disengaged.

While contracts for the sale had been due to be exchanged between the scheme’s owners, Fortress, and Pontegedea last November, the €550 million deal did not proceed as planned because Fibonacci Square had not yet reached practical completion.

The completion of the proposed purchase was stalled once more following Meta’s decision in early December to sublet all four blocks at the scheme, rather than occupy them itself.


The news of Meta’s move, which was first reported by The Irish Times, sent shockwaves through the commercial property and wider business sector, coming as it did during a period of retrenchment among tech companies worldwide.

It remains to be seen if Meta will find an alternative occupier for Fibonacci Square, or ultimately come to occupy the buildings itself once the current period of economic uncertainty comes to an end. The Irish Times understands that this possibility has already been the subject of discussions between Meta executives in Dublin and their counterparts in the US.

Should Ortega’s family office proceed with the purchase of Fibonacci Square, it will begin collecting rental income of €22.6 million from Meta in 2024 following the expiry of an agreed rent-free period of about 18 months.

The company, known formerly as Facebook, signed a 25-year lease with Fibonacci Property ICAV, a joint venture between RGRE and its then funding partners Colony Capital, for Fibonacci Square in 2018. While the agreement contains a break option in year 15, it is unlikely Meta will avail of this, given its longer-term goal of locating and maintaining its European headquarter operations within a single campus.

Pontegadea already rents offices to Meta in Madrid and Seattle. Ortega’s firm, which has a real estate empire valued at more than €14 billion distributed across nine countries, acquired the Seattle offices in 2019 for $415 million.

Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan is Property Editor of The Irish Times