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Quinn family’s old shopping centre, Univermag, reopens in Ukraine’s capital city Kyiv


Sean Quinn

Sean Quinn

Sean Quinn

A shopping centre in Ukraine’s capital city Kyiv that was once owned by Seán Quinn’s family but recovered by the Irish State to pay his debts has reopened for business.

The Univermag shopping centre, along with a six-storey office block, was boarded up after Russian forces invaded Ukraine on February 24.

The buildings escaped damage from heavy bombardment as Ukrainian forces held off the Russian army’s attempts to surround Kyiv.

According to the Sunday Independent, the shopping centre reopened in recent weeks with most of the retail outlets resuming business.

The shopping centre and office block are among four commercial properties in Ukraine and Russia that were once key parts of the €500m overseas property portfolio owned by Quinn’s children.

They are now ultimately controlled by the liquidators of state-owned Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC), which planned to sell off the former Quinn assets in Russia and Ukraine this year and next.

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A source told the newspaper that plans for the sale have been shelved.

Meanwhile, international sanctions mean that the rent generated by the two key Russian properties is beyond reach.

The landmark 20-storey Kutuzoff Tower in Moscow and a logistical centre called Q-Park in Kazan were worth a combined €100m before the war and bring in an average rent of €7m to €8m.

The properties are under Russian management and rent is going into the local bank accounts of the IBRC holding company that owns the properties. The money, however, can’t be transferred out because of financial sanctions which prohibit business with Russia’s banks and financial institutions.

Attempts to sell the Russian and Ukraine assets to recover some of the €2.3bn debt owed by the Co Fermanagh man to the former Anglo-Irish Bank have suffered repeated setbacks. The Russian invasion of Ukraine is the latest obstacle.

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