Belfast Telegraph

US equity firm buys Dublin shopping centre for £221m in Irish bad bank disposal

By Holly Williams

US private equity giant Oaktree has completed its acquisition of the Square shopping centre in Tallaght.

The American firm, which is also behind a debt deal made three years ago with Harcourt Developments, the name behind Titanic Quarter, acquired the shopping centre for €250m (£221.4m)

The deal represents one of the largest retail transactions to have taken place in Ireland and is likely to be bad bank Nama's final disposal of a major single asset. The sale also represents the last of the five major M50 retail schemes to have changed hands since the crash.

While the amount paid by Oaktree is significant, and some €17m (£15m) above the €233m (£206.3m) quoted by joint agents JLL and Cushman & Wakefield when they brought the Square to the market last autumn, it is still a long way off the near €640m (£566.7) valuation the scheme carried out in 2007 when financier Derek Quinlan's Quinlan Private sold a stake of around 51% to developer Noel Smyth for €320m (£283) - or some €70m (£62) more than the sum for which a "controlling interest" of over 90% of the Square's shops were sold yesterday.

Oaktree's acquisition gives it control of 118 of the Square's 160 shop units, a cinema with 13 digital screens and more than 2,400 car spaces.

The centre is anchored by Dunnes Stores and Tesco. It registered 22 million visitors in 2016 alone and has annual rental income of almost €14m.

Belfast Telegraph

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