Kennedy Wilson edges closer on Irish property deal

US-based Kennedy Wilson has emerged as a major force in Irish property thanks to a succession of major acquisitions.

It has been attempting to complete a €306m takeover of a portfolio that includes the Stillorgan Shopping Centre in Dublin, Merchants Quay Shopping Centre in Cork and a plethora of high-end office blocks that include Bank of Ireland’s headquarters on Mespil Road in the capital. But its effort has been stymied by an alternative offer from US rival Northwood and opposition to the sale from some of the bondholders left in control of the assets following a loan default.

Kennedy Wilson’s bid for the properties was accepted last month, but looked to be in doubt when Northwood came in with an 11th-hour offer of €310m a fortnight ago.

That last-minute approach reignited a long-running takeover battle for the buildings, which were put up for sale by lenders at the start of the year after Treasury Holdings failed to repay a €375m loan.

Yesterday, however, the special servicer appointed to oversee the properties rejected the Northwood offer as “not deliverable” due to the “high level of opposition from ‘A’ and ‘B’ bondholders”.

Hypothekenbank Frankfurt now plans to appoint David Hughes and Luke Charleton of Ernst & Young as joint receivers to finalise the sale of the properties.

The deal may still be subject to more litigation, however. Source: Irish Independent